SPRINGFIELD — Community crisis service programs can often help individuals struggling with a psychiatric emergency if no medical issue is involved.
“The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is working with providers like BHN to develop more community support and programs so fewer people will need inpatient level of care,” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of Behavioral Health Network.
That’s a priority at a time when many patients are forced to wait hours or days in a hospital emergency room before being admitted for inpatient psychiatric care. The phenomenon is called ER boarding, and health care professionals say it has gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic and with the loss of psychiatric care beds in the region.
Winn said Behavioral Health Network recently opened a nine-bed “enhanced crisis stabilization unit” in Springfield.
“This helps keep people out of the ER or take people out of the ER who,