By Cheryl McDonald
The need for rapid and effective community-based responses to mental health crises is continuing to grow in southwest Oregon. Across the state, depression rates have continued a steady climb over the past several years. Even knowing this challenge exists, those experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health struggles may find it difficult to immediately access urgent treatment resources. Accessing these valuable resources is even more difficult for those in a state of crisis.
Our community, and our nation, are continuing to grapple with the best ways to improve urgent access to care. On a nationwide scale, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act established the “988” hotline number for suicide prevention and crisis services. This Act also provided the impetus for a nationwide mobilization of crisis response teams to better reach underserved areas, which includes rural locales like much of Douglas & Curry County.
Douglas & Curry County’s designated Community Mental Health Program, Adapt Integrated Health Care (“Adapt”), provides both walk-in crisis services and a mobile crisis response for individuals and families experiencing crisis.
The Adapt Mobile Crisis team initially began in Douglas County as a joint project with the City of Roseburg. This team allowed a coordinated response between law enforcement and Adapt crisis teams to provide trained crisis intervention to those in need. This focus on health and recovery services as front-line response serves to direct individuals in crisis away from costly jail and hospitalization stays and into appropriate health services that may decrease the likelihood of further crises. Currently, the Mobile Crisis team is available every day from 7:00 AM – 12:00 AM. The program will soon be expanding to 24/7 availability.
The focus of the Adapt Mobile Crisis team is non-violent, mental health crisis calls dispatched by the 911 Call Center (“Emergency Communications”). These calls do not always require law enforcement intervention and are often resolved through the compassionate, resolution-focused work of trained crisis therapists.
Currently, Adapt’s Mobile Crisis Program staffs full-time mental health therapists and full-time crisis case managers. These staff respond to calls received throughout Douglas & Curry County in teams of two. These teams are trained to address several situations, with emphasis on interventions such as:
- Crisis de-escalation
- Risk assessment
- Suicide prevention/safety planning
- Crisis counseling
- Conflict resolution
- Grief and loss counseling
In 2022, Douglas County Emergency Communications alone received 4160 calls for individuals experiencing crisis. The Mobile Crisis team was able to provide support services to approximately 60% of these calls. Crisis calls are diverse in scope, and include:
- Persons threatening suicide
- Individuals acting strangely or causing a disturbance
- Distraught individuals creating a concern for the safety of themselves or others
- Domestic disputes that may require mediation or conflict resolution
- Welfare checks
The Crisis team ensures that those experiencing crisis will be connected to support services in the days following the initial crisis event. Whenever possible, those who worked with the Crisis team will be contacted by a Crisis Peer Support Specialist. This Specialist will aid in accessing local community resources for treatment. All Peer Support Specialists are trained, OHA-certified staff with lived experience of mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders.
Walk-in Crisis Services are also available to all community members at Adapt’s Madrone location (621 West Madrone Street – Roseburg, OR 97470) Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. These services are available to all community members in need of support, regardless of ability to pay. Walk-In services can include crisis counseling, mental health assessments, safety planning and connection to community resources.
If you or someone you know is experiencing crisis, compassionate and caring support is available right here in Douglas County. To reach the Mobile Crisis team, or if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or severe mental distress, call 988. If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911.
For call ahead or walk-in services in Curry County, call 877-408-8941 or the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis line, 1-877-519-9322, to be connected to a trained crisis clinician.
For call ahead or walk-in services, call 541-440-3532 or the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis line, 1-800-866-9780, to be connected to a trained crisis clinician.
Visit www.adaptoregon.org to learn more about other programs and services available in your location. If you or someone you know needs primary care, substance use treatment, or mental health care, call 541-672-2691 or the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line 1-800-866-9780.