Triage and Emergency Services
TRIAGE AND AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCY SERVICES
(Mobile Intensive Crisis Stabilization Services -MICSS)
Kim Knickerbocker, MSW
Mobile Intensive Crisis Stabilization Services are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week and available to everyone. Individuals in need of crisis assistance or brief clinical therapeutic intervention can call the agency, and/or walk-in to be seen on an immediate basis during business hours. After business hours individuals can call and speak to an after hours counselor who will be able to provide assistance.
The core services consist of initial intake/screening, short-term therapeutic intervention provided by employed or contractual clinicians, and emergency and referral services that include crisis phone, face-to-face hospital / jail evaluations, and jail liaison services. A core staff is scheduled on a rotation basis to cover these functions during office hours, as well as after office hours (MICSS); the MICSS staff is composed of master-level clinicians. Clinical intervention through the agency's MICSS is most often short-term (less than 28 days) with an emphasis placed on immediate problem solving/resolution of the crisis. Whenever possible, crisis calls from registered persons served are referred to the primary therapist or case manager. If the primary therapist or case manager is unavailable, a call is referred to the MICSS staff on call. The clinical supervisor backs up the MICSS staff if no members of the MICSS team are available. If a face-to-face screening for psychiatric hospitalization is required, the MICSS worker arranges to meet the crisis party at the Emergency Room of McLaren-Lapeer Region Medical Center or the County Jail.
The regular agency telephone number is switched to professional answering service after hours. The answering service gathers information and attempts to handle the situation. If necessary, the answering service will page the agency's on-call staff. If a face-to-face screening for psychiatric hospitalization is required, the CMH on-call staff arranges to meet the crisis party at the Emergency Room of McLaren-Lapeer Region Medical Center or the County Jail.
During times of crisis the goal of emergency services is to assist people through mental health related crises in the least restrictive setting. People requiring crisis services are provided with short-term clinical interventions to work towards their recovery. Often referrals are made to this agency or an alternate agency of the individual's choice. Most people prefer not to go to a psychiatric hospital and often it is not necessary when other options are available. Other options include:
- Calling LCCMH to schedule an appointment to be seen and start counseling as soon as possible.
- Walking in during business hours to see a mental health professional with no appointment.
- MICSS assistance with finding natural supports in your life to help until the immediate crisis is over and outpatient treatment can be started.
- A Crisis Unit or respite bed for a short stay. Medications can be started if needed and monitored to see if they are working.
- Using other community resources the MICSS staff will provide to you.