Open Access: leveling the pathway to care.
When “Kim” called Crisis and Counseling Centers’ Open Access Center, she was not seeking crisis services. Instead, she was seeking outpatient treatment to support urgent mental health and substance use concerns, but it became clear as she spoke with the staff at the Open Access Center that Kim needed more help than she realized.
Kim was working to reunify with her children. She was struggling with depression and high levels of anxiety. It had been two months since the last time she used a substance, but on that day, she needed help urgently because maintaining abstinence from substances was becoming increasingly challenging.
As she spoke with our staff, they determined Kim needed rapid connection to care. As a result, Kim was referred to our Crisis Mobile Triage team to assess Kim’s safety to make the most appropriate recommendation for support and services based on Kim’s recovery needs.
Our crisis workers determined that Kim could safely remain in the community while she worked with our Crisis Outreach team to connect and set up appointments with other services to support her ongoing needs. Within 30 days of contacting Crisis and Counseling Centers, Kim was connected with providers outside of the agency to help her with her long-term recovery goals as well as a case manager to help her navigate the challenging reunification process and connect her to the resources she needs to succeed as an individual and as a mother.
Without the support of Outreach, accessing those services would have been a long, complicated process due to the high number of providers with waitlists. In addition, between navigating reunification with her children and the impact that mental health and substance use concerns can have on an individual’s ability to function, the process of finding services herself may not have felt manageable to Kim.
Open Access leveled the pathway to care for Kim by breaking down barriers. Had she not called, it’s doubtful she would have connected to our crisis services before she escalated to a mental health emergency. As a result, Kim is safe, connected, and working on her treatment, recovery, and reunification goals.
Open Access, launched in September 2022, is a new pathway to care offered by Crisis & Counseling Centers that prioritizes same-day care for urgent mental health and substance use needs.
In the first three full months since launching, Open Access helped connect 228 individuals to urgent mental health and substance use care.
- 22% of those individuals, like Kim, were connected to crisis services, a level of care they didn’t know they needed or even existed.
- 36% were referred internally for outpatient services.
- 12% were referred externally for services not urgently available or were unavailable at Crisis & Counseling Centers.
- 30% declined services/did not engage in care past initial contact/data is unavailable.