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Trauma-informed care guiding new Lewis & Clark County Behavioral Health Crisis System

Lewis and Clark Public Health
Posted at 5:03 PM, Sep 04, 2023

HELENA — Lewis & Clark Public Health recently announced the release of their Behavioral Health Crisis System Dashboard.

“It's a system that really is needed to respond to behavioral health the way it should be with trauma-informed care and having special behavioral health crisis team response,” says Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Specialist for Lewis & Clark Public Health, Jolene Jennings.

The new dashboard allows providers and citizens alike to learn about the county’s three-pillared response to behavioral health crises facing not only the county, but the state, and country.

The website provides a visual and interactive online tool for users to have a better idea of the state of behavioral health and what the county plans to do to address these issues. The dashboard also provides ample data on each Pillar.

LCPH has a three-pillar approach to addressing behavioral health. Pillar one is the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline which can be reached by dialing 988. Those experiencing thoughts of suicide, mental health, or substance use crises, or any other emotional distress can utilize this lifeline.

The second pillar is the Mobile Crisis Response Team. This is a specialized team that comes directly to a person’s home or someplace else in the community and provides mental health evaluation and safety plans. Often these folks can accompany law enforcement to a call. The total number of people served with this service is 552 since Q2 of 2022.

Lastly, the third pillar is a crisis stabilization facility. Here adults can receive care for behavioral health and substance use crises. Currently, no deal has been confirmed, but there are talks about reopening the Journey Home Crisis Stabilization Facility to serve this purpose. Since Q1 of 2022, there have been 3,414 emergency room visits for behavioral health in Lewis & Clark County.

Jennings says that she hopes this dashboard serves as a two-way communication tool.

“There's an e-mail there people can respond to with comments, with feedback, with ideas. And, you know, we always want to keep things improving. And we will, you know, we’ll keep working to provide people with the data and information they want on this site. It is for the public,” says Jennings.