Chautauqua County Mobile Crisis Unit Wins National Award

Submitted by Justin Gould on Thu, 06/27/2024 - 09:54

We are thrilled to announce that the Chautauqua County Mobile Crisis Unit has been honored with the 2024 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. This prestigious award recognizes their exceptional service and dedication to supporting our community in times of crisis.

The Mobile Crisis Unit, established in May 2021, addresses the critical shortage of mental health resources in Chautauqua County. Staffed by licensed clinicians and certified peer specialists, the unit provides immediate on-the-ground support, safety planning, and tele-health consultations with psychiatrists. This innovative approach ensures a seamless transition to long-term treatment and community resources, covering everything from emergency housing to substance use treatment.

Before the unit's inception, many residents had to travel extensively for crisis care due to limited local facilities. Now, the Mobile Crisis Unit brings essential services directly to those in need, reducing the necessity for hospitalization and law enforcement involvement. In 2023 alone, the unit responded to 424 calls, successfully managing 403 of them without resorting to hospitalization or police intervention.

During economic downturns, the Mobile Crisis Unit has proven to be a vital resource, addressing mental health challenges exacerbated by financial stress, unemployment, and social isolation. Its flexible and timely responses ensure accessibility throughout the community, linking individuals to crucial resources and promoting resilience.

The unit also plays a pivotal role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. By providing immediate support and reducing stigma, it connects disadvantaged communities to essential mental health and substance abuse treatment resources. The program’s trauma-informed care and inclusive outreach efforts help break the cycle of mental illness and substance abuse, ensuring that mental health services are accessible across both rural and urban areas of Chautauqua County.

The program's success is underscored by its financial sustainability through Medicaid billing and ongoing expansion efforts. The Mobile Crisis Unit has not only minimized the involvement of law enforcement in mental health crises but also alleviated the strain on the county’s limited law enforcement resources, allowing them to focus more on public safety.

With a stellar record of managing crises effectively, the Chautauqua County Mobile Crisis Unit has demonstrated its indispensable role in our community. Congratulations once again on this well-deserved recognition! Your dedication and hard work continue to make a significant impact, providing critical support and fostering resilience in Chautauqua County.


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