Mobile Crisis

Mobile Crisis is a mental health service in the United States (typically operated by a mental health hospital or health conglomerate) which services the community by providing immediate response emergency mental health evaluations. Evaluations are often requested by hospital emergency rooms, but can also be requested by ICUs, CCUs, jails, nursing homes, police, or EMS. These services are often available on a 24 hour basis.

Mobile Crisis evaluations are typically requested due to a reasonable expectation of self-inflicted harm to the client, but can also be requested due to a reasonable expectation of the client's intent to harm another person. In addition to Suicidal/Homocidal Ideation or gestures, an assessment may be requested due to a person exhibiting signs of psychosis, grave decompensation, or altered mental status believed not to have an organic etiology. Criteria for requesting a Mobile Crisis assessment varies state to state depending upon individual mental health agencies and entities that regulate mental health services, as well as statues created via legislative assemblies. Non-viable Mobile Crisis evaluation requests can include alcohol and drug requests (where there is not a mental health component), or "routine" evaluations requested where there is not a reasonable expectation of harm to the client or another individual.

The Mobile Crisis clinician has typically obtained her/his Master's degree in a mental health-related field (such as social work or counseling psychology). The clinician performs the evaluation based on standard models of mental status examination (alert and oriented, mood, affect, etc.), and assigns a DSM-IVTR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Fourth Edition, Text Revision) diagnosis. After completing the evaluation, the clinician makes a disposition, or placement, decision for the client. Placements can include involuntary in-patient hospitalization, voluntary in-patient hospitalization, or discharge to home with out-patient referrals. Following disposition, the Mobile Crisis unit can be expected to follow-up with the client within a few days.

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