Centerstone (Nashville, Tenn.), one of the nation's largest not-for-profit providers of community-based mental health and addiction services, has received a $200,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation to expand the organization's current crisis services. Funding will create the "Crisis Services High-Risk Follow-Up Project,” an extended outreach service to assist people in suicidal crisis by improving access to life-saving support, resources and treatment.
Callers accessing Centerstone’s current 24-hour crisis line (800-681-7444), who are assessed as being at high risk for suicide, will receive follow-up calls for continued risk assessment and follow-up plan development. Ongoing check-ins will occur within 24 hours of the original call and subsequent check-ins at seven days, 14 days and 30 days, based on acuity and need of the caller. Similar outreach will be available for individuals hospitalized after receiving referral from one of Centerstone’s Crisis Services professionals and veterans who are at high-risk for acute psychiatric crises.
“Follow-up services and community collaboration are equally integral to preventing hospitalizations and suicide. Isolation is the enemy of those at acute risk for suicide,” said Becky Stoll, Centerstone’s Vice President for Crisis Services. “The depth and breadth of support can, literally, be a life saver.”
“Cost is the number one reason people with mental illness forego treatment,” said Dawn Weber, manager of community relations and foundations at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “We’re proud to support Centerstone and its efforts to provide not just initial treatment but the essential follow-up services necessary to ensure the well-being of the Nashville community.”
This project will include collaboration among parties in both behavioral health and healthcare communities aimed at assisting clients at-risk for suicide by providing cost-effective, life-saving alternatives to hospitalization, such as safety plan development and ongoing support for linkage to effective community mental health services and other needed resources.
The "Crisis Services High-Risk Follow-Up Project” is an extension of Centerstone’s overarching suicide prevention initiative. Centerstone’s goal is to reduce symptoms while promoting recovery. It is anticipated that this project will show, through research and analysis, a reduction in the need for crisis services and hospitalizations, and most importantly, help in the organization’s goal to decrease suicides among its clients to zero.