Case Studies

Billings Clinic - Community Crisis Center

Billings, MT

What is it?
The Community Crisis Center (CCC) provides assessment and referral services to people in crisis who need access to integrated mental health, chemical dependency, and social services. The CCC, a licensed Montana Mental Health Center, provides a single point of access and a community system of outpatient care for persons in crisis. Services are provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The CCC triages clients, provides stabilization, and links them to appropriate services. To coordinate care, the center utilizes a database that is linked to key community providers.

Who is it for?
Individuals in crisis, ages 18 and older.

Why do they do it?
A 2006 Community Wide Survey identified access to mental health services as a primary need for the Billings area. At this time, psychiatric and substance abuse diagnosis combined represented 45 percent of all Billings Clinic emergency department (ED) presentations. It was also identified that this population could be better served and in a much more cost-effective model such as a crisis center. At that time, 25,000 adults in Montana (2.7 percent of the population) had co-occurring diagnoses; they also represented a disproportionate number of uninsured, which compromises access to service.

In response to the survey findings, the Billings Clinic, Riverstone Health, St. Vincent Healthcare and South Central Mental Health Center came together to form a collaboration in this enterprise. Providing a more appropriate system of care for individuals with mental health and substance abuse lowers the utilization of emergency care for this population. It also assists the community in being able to divert individuals to a system of care instead of incarceration of persons with misdemeanor offenses.

Over the last seven years, the CCC has provided services for almost 8,000 unduplicated clients on 33,062 visits. On each visit, the client receives from one to eight different services, including assessment, case management, referrals, groups, chemical dependency evaluations, access to recovery services, stabilization services, and nursing assessments. The outcome is that this population is more appropriately served by this system of care than through continued ED visits. The “No Wrong Door Philosophy” welcomes persons who are apprehensive to access care.

Contact: MarCee Neary
Program Director
Telephone: 406-259-8800

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