Crisis Response

Community-Based Crisis Management Systems

Benchmark Human Services offers extensive experience in developing and operating large-scale crisis management systems. These systems respond to individuals with intellectual disabilities who are experiencing a behavioral crisis and individuals with intense and persistent mental illness who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

These services, which include time-based protocols for in-home responses and options for acute placement, are proven to reduce critical incidents, failed placements, and re-admission to psychiatric facilities for community-based clients.

Since 2007, Benchmark has developed and implemented three large-scale crisis intervention services in two states.

Services are generally modular and can be customized to meet a number of variables from geographic area and consumer characteristics, to budgets. The desired outcome of stabilization within the individual’s residential/community setting often diverts incarcerations and stays in hospitals and other institutions. Services can be scaled from comprehensive statewide systems to specialized projects focused on a single region or metropolitan area.

Additional features of Benchmark crisis management systems include: 

  • Making advance arrangements and establishing protocols to limit use of acute psychiatric placement
  • Ensuring available psychiatric support, including arrangements for telemedicine psychiatric support in remote rural areas
  • Engaging service providers of individuals in crisis, which may include additional training for providers and accountability for ongoing support that minimizes future crisis situations
  • Aggressive case coordination to reduce recidivism and systemic “passing the buck” for dually diagnosed individuals and those with the most extreme behaviors
  • Ongoing outreach to emergency rooms, law enforcement, schools, service providers, other institutions and individuals who are likely users of the service
  • Collecting a wide range of utilization and response data, followed by intensive data analysis and regular monitoring of performance outcomes
  • Hiring high-quality, experienced, licensed/certified individuals to lead programs and staff response teams
  • Mission-driven services based on core values, including commitment to in-home support, recovery, resiliency, and achieving industry-leading performance outcomes.

Hallmarks of Benchmark’s crisis intervention services include:

  • Peer-Based Support: This model uses certified peer specialists (CPS) who work from the perspective of “having been there” to assist individuals in crisis and to serve as a role model.
  • Community Collaborative Partnerships: These partnerships identify and unify resources available in the community, including support groups, community service boards, and representatives from law enforcement, local departments of Human Services and child welfare agencies, private psychiatric hospitals and emergency rooms.
  • Recovery-Based: This philosophy embodies self-direction; includes the individual’s “whole life” of mind, body, spirit and community; relies upon interactions with others in supportive, trust-based relationships; involves ongoing peer support; and emphasizes hope as an essential and motivating factor toward moving to a better future.
In FY 2016, Benchmark responded to 100% of all dispatched calls which included 428 dispatches for the Development Disability contract, and 11.857 dispatches for the behavioral health contract.