Programs that provide immediate access to support and advice for people who are in distress with the objective of defusing the emotional impact of the crisis, ensuring the person's safety and helping the person to take the next steps toward resolving the problem. Hotlines/helplines are generally staffed by trained volunteers who are available via the telephone, email, live chat, texting and/or instant message (IM).
Programs that provide a short-term residential alternative to inpatient hospitalization for adults and/or children who are experiencing a mental health crisis and require 24-hour support in a supervised environment to become stabilized, but do not exhibit medical complications that necessitate nursing care.
Programs that provide an opportunity for people who are emotionally distressed and/or for their significant others to meet face-to-face with someone who has been trained to assess and resolve the immediate crisis, if possible, and to link the person with appropriate resources for ongoing assistance.
Programs that provide a mechanism for mobile emergency response in situations where an individual's mental or emotional condition results in behaviour which constitutes an imminent danger to him or herself or to another and the person is unwilling to seek voluntary treatment. The program conducts an immediate assessment of the psychological condition and functioning of the individual and can issue an order which authorizes involuntary hospitalization for a specified period of time for the purposes of observation and treatment. A request for intervention can be made by family members, community residents and/or community agencies.
Psychiatric and health care facilities that are capable of restraining and treating people who are in acute emotional distress on a 24-hour basis.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.