Volume XI, Issue XXXIV - May 2018

From: Danielle L. Kirby, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery


The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) is collecting information about the availability, scope, and funding of community triage services in Illinois. For the purposes of this research, community triage is defined as a program of services, delivered in a brick-and-mortar location, for individuals experiencing a mental health or Substance Use Disorder (SUD) crisis. Community triage provides individuals in severe distress with up to 23 consecutive hours of supervised care to assist with deescalating the severity of their crisis and/or need for urgent care. The primary objectives of this level of care are prompt assessments, stabilization, and/or a determination of the appropriate level of care. The primary intended outcome of community triage services is to divert individuals whose crisis may resolve with time and observation from either unnecessary hospitalization or incarceration.

DHS would like to know if your organization provides community triage services as defined above. If you are unsure, please consider these questions:

  • Do you have the capacity to serve individuals whose crisis is so severe that they would otherwise go to a hospital emergency department or be detained by law enforcement?
  • Are your services provided in a brick-and-mortar location that is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week, or that otherwise offers hours that allow it to serve as a diversion from emergency department care or police involvement?

If you answered yes to BOTH questions, please contact Natalie Kase at DHS (312-793-1643 or Natalie.M.Kase@illinois.gov) by May 31, 2018 to schedule a telephone interview. You will receive a questionnaire in advance of the interview to allow sufficient preparation.

DHS acknowledges that other crisis services and settings, such as longer-term crisis residential care, mobile crisis teams, and peer crisis services/Living Room models, are worthwhile elements in a crisis service array. However, this research is limited to services with the capacity to provide an alternative to emergency rooms and police involvement for individuals in acute crisis.

Findings from this research will be used to develop a report on the availability, scope, and funding of community triage services in Illinois. This project should not be interpreted as a signal that additional public funding for community triage services is or will become available.