FAQs

Click on each question for the answer.

What types of individuals does Mobile Crisis Services provide services to?

Individuals experiencing a psychiatric, emotional, or behavioral crisis within our county service area are eligible to receive our services. We provide services to children and adolescents in Albany County, and services to adults, children, and adolescents in Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties.

Our children’s team responds to individuals age 5–21, and our adult team responds to individuals age 18 and older. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 receive a response from the most appropriate team, depending on client enrollment in public school system or child versus adult treatment services.

Where does Mobile Crisis Services provide services?

Within the counties specified above, we respond to any community location where there is a need for crisis evaluation, including a client’s home, a treatment provider’s office, hospital, primary care office, or public locations such as shopping centers, coffee shops, and parks.

What hours does Mobile Crisis Services operate?

Mobile Crisis Services hours of availability are based on location and population served:
Adult services (all counties): 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Child and adolescent services:
Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady: 11:00 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Saratoga, Warren, Washington: 8:00 a.m.–7:30 p.m.

How much do Mobile Crisis Services cost?

Mobile Crisis Services does not currently bill for services. We are a grant-funded program supported by our community stakeholders and local government agencies with the intent to help prevent unnecessary hospital and emergency room visits.

How much contact will participants have with the Mobile Crisis Services team?

Most individuals will only have one face-to-face contact with our team, followed by a follow-up telephone conversation to ensure continued safety. Some individuals use our team more regularly when they find themselves in crisis and in need of an intervention or stabilization. In some circumstances, providers might connect a team member with a client who may need our services in the future and who would benefit from an opportunity to meet our staff to be more comfortable in working with the support team.

Does Mobile Crisis Services help participants manage alcohol or drug use?

While the Mobile Crisis Services program is designed to help stabilize individuals experiencing a psychiatric emergency, many factors may contribute to that crisis. Alcohol or drug use will be addressed by the team in relation to its impact on psychological and social-emotional well-being and safety planning. When an individual is intoxicated, a full mobile crisis intervention may not be possible, and treatment by medical professionals may be recommended and facilitated. We are also able to make referrals to specialized substance abuse treatment program if needed.

Can Mobile Crisis Services clinicians provide therapy?

Our staff members are licensed behavioral health clinicians who are trained to provide both assessment and counseling services. However, this program’s function is to conduct a specialized assessment of risk to ensure client safety. As such, Mobile Crisis Services staff do not provide ongoing therapy services to clients. We would be happy to help facilitate a referral to another mental health outpatient program or other appropriate services as needed.

Can individuals with the legal system and/or law enforcement access Mobile Crisis Services?

Yes. Involvement with the legal system or law enforcement officials does not preclude someone from receiving mobile crisis services.

Can individuals with an assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) court order access Mobile Crisis Services?

Yes. Individuals with an assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) court order are encouraged to use Mobile Crisis Services to help them to remain on track and safely within their community.

Can family members be involved?

We strongly encourage family involvement if available at the time of a crisis. However, we understand that sometimes adults do not want or are not ready to have their family members or other supports involved in their treatment.

With regard to children, the team must obtain parental consent in order to meet with or assess a minor child. Parents and guardians play an integral role in the development of an effective safety plan to help the child remain in the community, and if a higher level of care is deemed necessary, a parent or guardian must also be involved in that process.

What supports are available for families?

The Mobile Crisis Services team employs peer support specialists (for the adult team) and family advocates (for the child/adolescent teams) to provide support to family members as well as the individual who has been identified as needing crisis services. Family members may be the first contact a team has when concern arises about how their loved one is coping with stress or functioning in the community. Our goal is to include an individual’s natural support system to develop an effective plan for continued safety whenever possible.

If Mobile Crisis Services is called and responds, does the individual in crisis have to go to the hospital?

Clients seen by the Mobile Crisis Services team do not automatically require a trip to the hospital. Our primary goal is to help stabilize the situation within a natural setting (the home, a provider’s office, or other location) to avoid unnecessary contact with the emergency departments and to help to prevent rehospitalization. If the crisis evaluation determines that imminent risk exists that cannot be mitigated by developing a safety plan or collaborating with natural supports and current providers, the team may need to help facilitate an alternate level of care, which typical includes hospitals and/or respite programs. Our current diversion from hospital contact is approximately 80–85 percent.

When Mobile Crisis Services is called, who on the team responds?

We are a team of licensed behavioral health providers, peer-support specialists, family advocates, and case managers. We also provide training and education to students from a variety of local college programs and will often have interns placed with us who are learning to provide crisis intervention services. We always respond with a team of at least two staff members, unless they are responding to certain school or hospital settings. Clients can expect to meet with a licensed clinician, with additional support provided by a second staff member matched to the client’s specific needs whenever possible. If peer-support or famiy advocacy services are available, they may be a good fit to help with the struggles a client is currently facing.