Consumer experience of formal crisis-response services and preferred methods of crisis intervention



Kara Boscarato, Stuart Lee, Jon Kroschel, Yitzchak Hollander, Alice Brennan, Narelle Warren

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

27 FEB 2014

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12059



The manner in which people with mental illness are supported in a crisis is crucial to their recovery. The current study explored mental health consumers' experiences with formal crisis services (i.e. police and crisis assessment and treatment (CAT) teams), preferred crisis supports, and opinions of four collaborative interagency response models. Eleven consumers completed one-on-one, semistructured interviews. The results revealed that the perceived quality of previous formal crisis interventions varied greatly. Most participants preferred family members or friends to intervene. However, where a formal response was required, general practitioners and mental health case managers were preferred; no participant wanted a police response, and only one indicated a preference for CAT team assistance. Most participants welcomed collaborative crisis interventions. Of four collaborative interagency response models currently being trialled internationally, participants most strongly supported the Ride-Along Model, which enables a police officer and a mental health clinician to jointly respond to distressed consumers in the community. The findings highlight the potential for an interagency response model to deliver a crisis response aligned with consumers' preferences.