An Imperfect Guide to Crisis Stabilization Units

Crisis Education
May, 5 2023 Connections Health Solutions



All crisis facilities should be able to provide care that is recovery-oriented and focused on helping the individual return to community-based care. Other core capabilities include:

  • Safe and therapeutic milieu
  • Peer support and engagement
  • Care coordination and help with social determinants of health
  • Trauma-informed approaches
  • Ability to address co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder needs

As a general rule, crisis facilities should be able to care for individuals who, if not for their behavioral health crisis, would be able to return home without the need for home health or other specialized nursing care. Crisis programs should have clear admission criteria and the capability to screen for medical conditions that need further evaluation and treatment. They should not require all referrals to receive screening evaluations in the ED prior to admission.