The primary purpose of the McLean County Triage Center (MCTC) is to provide McLean County residents with an alternative to existing crisis services for those experiencing a mental health crisis, who are not violent in behavior. The center will be open 7 days per week, 365 days per year and will always have at least two staff in addition to security staff. There are many ways for participants to access services such as, self-referral walk-ins, be brought in by law enforcement, referred from the emergency room or be referred by any other community partner. The target population are individuals ages eighteen and older in a mental health and/or substance use disorder crisis, regardless of socioeconomic background. Services will not be denied to anyone who qualifies for them due to lack of insurance. Individuals will experience respect, dignity, and empathy throughout all interactions with staff.
MCTC is an alternative to the hospital emergency department or justice system for the community to utilize as a response to individuals in a behavioral health related crisis. Serving as an alternative to emergency rooms allows hospitals to have greater capacity to address life-threatening medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, injuries, strokes, etc. Similarly, by serving as an alternative to the justice system for those who interact with law enforcement, individuals may get connection to the services they need thereby reducing recidivism rates and/or avoiding entry into the justice system at all.
At MCTC, triage activities are carried out by qualified and skilled mental health clinicians who collect demographic, social, health and clinical information to determine whether there is a need for further assessment or intervention or whether referral to another service should be considered. MCTC allows participants to get a more individualized assessment and a plan of care from people who are trained in mental health.
The triage function is a missing key part of the behavioral health crisis system in McLean County. The function of the Triage Center is key in ensuring that individuals are linked to the right care and ongoing supports, even after they leave. Decisions made at the Triage Center determine whether a person will receive further assessment through mental health interventions and services and, if so, the type and urgency of the response. Delays or inappropriate responses to people in psychiatric crisis may increase the risk of self-harm, suicide or other types of violence or negative outcomes. In addition, in lower acuity cases, inadequate interventions or responses can mean that opportunities for early intervention are missed, and people are not afforded an opportunity to access the care in a timely manner, which will assist them in becoming emotionally healthy.
The goals of crisis services include, but are not limited to:
Promote the safety and emotional stability of individuals with mental health concerns, substance use disorders, or emotional crises.
Minimize further deterioration of individuals with mental health concerns, substance use disorders, or emotional crisis.
Assist individuals in developing and/or enhancing better coping skills and support systems.
Assist individuals with mental health concerns, substance use disorders, or emotional crises and obtain ongoing care and treatment.