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HMA Framework Examines Behavioral Health Crisis Diversion Facilities

This week, our In Focus section provides a model framework examining an option for care for individuals with behavioral health needs who often find themselves involved with law enforcement or in hospital emergency rooms during times of crisis. The framework – Crisis Diversion Facilities – was released by Health Management Associates, led by HMA Principal Bren Manaugh and supported by Arnold Ventures as part of a larger opioid and mental health response initiative.

Mental illness and substance use disorders affect a large number of Americans, with emergency departments and law enforcement often serving as the most frequent respondents to individuals in crisis. Crisis Diversion Facilities can provide targeted, specialized mental health and substance use treatment that can stabilize people in crisis, reduce unnecessary and costly emergency room use and jail stays, and increase access to critical health and support services for vulnerable members of communities.

The model crisis diversion facility:

  • Improves the health and wellbeing of individuals experiencing behavioral health crisis and those with repeated criminal justice system encounters by integrating supports and health care, law enforcement, criminal justice, and emergency agencies, to improve access to services that reduce reliance on emergency health and public safety responses;
  • Is a coordinated community approach by stakeholders with key roles and responsibilities in the system of care that leverages multiple funding streams and community investment;
  • Is developed in alignment with best practices and evidence-based models for driving a service delivery system that is trauma-informed, person-centered, and recovery-oriented.

The framework includes a report, Behavioral Health Crisis and Diversion from the Criminal Justice System: A Model for Effective Community Response; a guidebook, A Community Guide for Development of a Crisis Diversion Facility: A Model for Effective Community Response to Behavioral Health Crisis; and a policy brief.

For any questions, please contact Bren Manaugh at [email protected].