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Saint Joseph’s Medical Center strengthens crisis prevention and response

Incorporating mental healthcare and treatment into a community’s crisis prevention and response is essential to improving the experience and outcomes for users. In 2021, the Saint Joseph’s Medical Center/St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester division crisis prevention and response team collaborated with emergency services organizations and government agencies to develop and staff a Westchester-based suicide prevention and crisis response center.

The response center handles Westchester calls to the 988 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Response Lifeline and the county's 911 diversion program. The initiative created a comprehensive crisis response system that connects New Yorkers to trained, local crisis counselors to provide emotional support and assistance for behavioral health crises and suicide prevention, and connections to community services for support and recovery.

This initiative supports the “Promote Well-Being and Prevent Mental and Substance Use Disorders” action plan of the New York State Prevention Agenda.

The crisis prevention and response team:

  • coordinates with local police and emergency services in “active rescue” situations to ensure the caller is located and transported to a hospital for follow-up — 32 active rescues were completed from January 2022 to February 2023;
  • provides follow-up to callers who request it — the team achieves an average of 70% of callers linked to community support; and
  • expanded staffing to allow for 24/7/365 coverage. The center is currently staffed by the crisis prevention and response team Monday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., with St. Vincent’s staff providing overnight telephone coverage.

For more information, contact Lorraine Horgan, vice president, external affairs, at 914.378.7535 or lhorgan@saintjosephs.org.