Restore Strength to People and Programs’ goal is to restore access to and strengthen the quality of community behavioral health treatment services available through the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It targets individuals with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI), and individuals with SMI or SED and substance use disorders (COD), who need public behavioral services with a specific focus on those in crisis.
DHHS currently provides individuals with SMI or substance use disorders; children and adolescents with SED; and individuals with COD culturally appropriate, person and family-centered behavioral health care services 24/7 at its Crisis Clinic. Restore Strength will enhance the services provided by adding an interim stabilization center to provide better care for a lower cost to meet the tremendous need in the community. By adding at least one nurse and one behavioral therapist on site 24/7, the program will divert people in distress from emergency departments and jail by expanding the continuum of crisis care services that match people’s clinical needs and connect them to services that will prevent future crises. Restore Strength will provide safe, effective crisis care to address pandemic fueled increases in substance use and mental health challenges and to rebuild crisis intervention services interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic as children and adolescents return to school in September 2021.
The proposed expansion will serve a total of 2,647 unduplicated individuals over the course of the two-year period, with 1,000 unduplicated children and adolescents being referred for treatment at the Crisis Center in Year One and 71 unduplicated individuals experiencing a crisis episode receiving treatment at the stabilization center. In Year Two, an additional 1,380 children and adolescents will be referred to receive crisis interventions services and 196 individuals will utilize the specialized crisis intervention and treatment services at the stabilization center.
The goals and measurable objectives of the project are to: treat a minimum of 250 persons 18 years old and over who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis or substance use crisis at the Stabilization Center rather than at an emergency room or at a local jail; to intervene with over 2,300 children and youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis; maintain contact with, monitor and refer 50% of crisis clients to ensure they end up in a safe and appropriate service environment or recover from the crisis; train 500 staff members on Zero Suicide, trauma informed care and critical incident stress debriefing; and establish a baseline of telehealth sessions conducted across BHCS programs.