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Mobile Crisis Teams

As of October 2015, there are twenty-three (23) mobile crisis teams citywide.

What is a mobile crisis team?
A mobile crisis team is an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals
((e.g., nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health technicians, addiction specialists, peer counselors). Teams operate under the auspices of voluntary agencies and municipals hospitals. They respond to persons in the community, usually visiting them at home, although their mandate allows them to make contact at other locations.

Who can request assistance from mobile crisis teams?
Mobile crisis teams serve any person in New York City who is experiencing, or is at risk of, a psychological crisis, and who requires mental health intervention and follow up support to overcome resistance to treatment. Mobile crisis teams usually are called by family members, neighbors, friends, landlords, clergy or other person(s) concerned about an individual.

What services do mobile crisis teams provide?
Mobile Crisis Team staff provides a range of services including assessment, crisis intervention, supportive counseling, information and referrals, linkage with appropriate community based mental health services for ongoing treatment, and follow up.

What if the team decides that a hospital psychiatric emergency room evaluation is needed?
Teams will arrange transportation to emergency rooms if further psychiatric and/or medical assessment and care is indicated.

If the individual in crisis does not agree to go to the hospital willingly, and meets the specified legal standards (i.e., has a mental illness [or, in some instances appears to have a mental illness] and presents a danger to self or others), mobile crisis teams can direct the police to involuntarily transport such persons to the psychiatric emergency room for further evaluation and possible hospital admission. In most instances the police will direct the ambulance services operated by the City's Emergency Medical Services to provide actual transport.

The mobile crisis teams' authority to direct the involuntary removal of persons to the emergency room is provided by the NYS Mental Hygiene Law NYS Mental Hygiene Law, Sections 9.37 and 9.58 designations, and some also have 9.37 designated psychiatrists. Mobile crisis teams are available throughout the 5 boroughs. Project HELP, which serves homeless persons, responds citywide (I’m now 100% sure-but I don’t think Project HELP exists any longer).

How can concerned persons get help from a mobile crisis team?
Referrals to the mobile crisis teams are made by calling 1-800-543-3638 (LIFENET).