Child Crisis Services - (612) 348-2233
Appropriate referrals for mobile crisis response
A mobile crisis response is provided when an initial telephone screening suggests that a child may be experiencing a “mental health crisis” or “mental health emergency.” These two terms are defined in state law (Minnesota Statutes 2004, 256B.0944):
- A “mental health crisis” is defined as “a child's behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric situation that, but for the provision of crisis response services to the child, would likely result in significantly reduced levels of functioning in primary activities of daily living, an emergency situation, or the child's placement in a more restrictive setting, including, but not limited to, inpatient hospitalization.”
- A “mental health emergency” is defined as “a child's behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric situation that causes an immediate need for mental health services” and is consistent with a statute governing access to “emergency services.”
This means that the Child Crisis Services team can provide on-site crisis assessment and intervention services when a child:
- is experiencing symptoms of psychosis (i.e., hallucinations or delusions) that cause the child to be at significant risk of harming self or others, or of being harmed him- or herself (including harm resulting from severely impaired judgment or neglect of basic needs);
- is having suicidal or homicidal thoughts or feelings, or is otherwise at immediate high risk of harming self or others as a result of emotional disturbance, such as depression, mania, extreme emotional lability, agitation, or severe anxiety;
- is experiencing acute distress so severe that it results in a significant decline in the child’s personal functioning or immediate high risk of harming self or others;
- is unable to make use of traditional clinic-based diagnostic assessment services due to the presence of a significant mental health issue, such as severe anxiety or paranoia, that prevents the child from traveling to the site of the assessment service; or
- is exhibiting behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric difficulties so disruptive and challenging that they result in a significant disturbance in family functioning.
When not to call Child Crisis Services
Situations for which it is not appropriate to request that the Child Crisis Services team provide on-site crisis assessment and intervention services include those in which the child:
- has made, or is at imminent risk of, a potentially life-threatening suicide attempt (call 911 instead),
- has engaged in, or is at imminent risk of, serious aggression or violence (call 911 instead),
- is experiencing a medical emergency or is in need of medical treatment,
- requires physical restraint,
- is intoxicated or is in need of a chemical health assessment,
- requires assistance primarily with “social service” needs such as housing, food, or financial resources (call Hennepin County's “Front Door” instead, at 612-348-4111) , or
- is engaging in behavior that is primarily criminal or delinquent in nature.
If you are unsure whether or not to contact Child Crisis Services for assistance, please call. The Child Crisis Services team will help you sort out what kind of response is appropriate and whether an on-site response is needed.
Metro Area Crisis Services Contact Information