Capacity Building for the Severely Mentally Ill

Crisis House. Hospital emergency departments are not typically the best therapeutic environment for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Yet, in Montgomery County, hospitals have frequently housed patients who are experiencing a mental health crisis because of a lack of appropriate referral options. Nexus Montgomery provided capacity building funds to Cornerstone Montgomery, a community-based service organization for the severely mentally ill, to expand their existing operations. A new 8-bed crisis house will serve about 200 people per year who typically stay for 10 to 14 days. During this time patients are stabilized, connected with a primary care provider, and evaluated and connected to other services.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team. ACT teams support severely mentally ill patients not suited to traditional treatment formats. Due to the severity of their mental illness, these patients are likely to be high utilizers of hospital inpatient and emergency department services. Nexus Montgomery provided start-up costs for a third ACT team in Montgomery County. Two teams were already operational and at full capacity. Once the third ACT team reaches full capacity, it will be self-sustaining through billable revenue.

The Crisis House and ACT team are operated by Cornerstone Montgomery, an independent nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive, evidence-based mental health and substance use disorder treatments and interventions.

Behavioral Health Integration. Inter-agency efforts to reduce hospital use by severely mentally ill patients have been piloted but not sustained due to lack of facilitation and coordination. Nexus Montgomery will provide the necessary staffing to continue these innovative efforts to address a vital community need.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

To participate in the MHFA training fill out and submit the registration form: MHFA Training Registration Form.

Regional Partners

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Adventist HealthCare
Shady Grove Medical Center

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Holy Cross Germantown Hospital

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Adventist HealthCare
Washington Adventist Hospital

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MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

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Holy Cross Hospital

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Suburban Hospital

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