We have a golden opportunity to determine the future of behavioral health crisis care in the United States.
One of the greatest disparities in health care is the way in which our society addresses behavioral health emergencies. While a 911 call for chest pain results in an ambulance response with trained emergency medicine technicians, a call for suicidal ideation often triggers an armed law enforcement response. With police as the default first responders, individuals in behavioral health crisis account for a quarter of police shootings and more than 2 million jail bookings each year.
The next several years pose a golden opportunity for determining the future of behavioral health crisis care in the United States. This is the perfect time for psychiatrists and other clinical leaders to get involved and make a difference.