Mobile Crisis Teams across the country have been successfully responding to crisis calls and mitigating jail time or hospitalizations. It was time to bring this concept to New Mexico.
The City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County came together and solicited responses from behavioral health contractors with the level of experience, compassion, and reputation required to lift this pilot program off the ground. HopeWorks won the contract.
Now, HopeWorks operates six teams — each comprised of an independently licensed HopeWorks therapist and an Albuquerque Police Department or Bernalillo County Sheriff‘s Office officer — and responds to emergency behavioral health calls in the community. Every year, MCT is dispatched to de-escalate almost 3,000 calls.
In the last year:
- Over 950 in-person assessments were conducted.
- About half of the calls came from people between the ages of 25-54.
- 1/3 received a diagnosis of a behavioral health or substance use issue.
- Over 100 self-reported as experiencing homelessness.
MCT helps people in the middle of crisis. Our team arrives on scene (if needed) to de-escalate and diffuse the crisis, as well as assist with implementing the most appropriate level of care. Our goal is to reduce the risk of arrest due to mental illness and limit visits to the emergency rooms or hospitals. MCT also provides referrals to service providers and other community resources as needed. Without this vital programming, more individuals in crisis would end up in emergency rooms, jails, or hospitals.