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Mental health crisis assessment and referral

A mental health crisis assessment and referral can help determine next steps for care and support

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, seek help immediately. contact:

If you go to an Allina Health emergency department, you will undergo an assessment and referral for treatment from an expert mental health clinician.

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What is a mental health crisis assessment and referral?

If you come to the Emergency Department (ED), you will undergo an assessment by one of our specially trained mental health clinicians. This highly-trained provider will meet with you, conduct a risk assessment, evaluate how severe your situation is and give recommendations to an ED doctor to help you receive the right level of care.

What to expect from the assessment and referral

Your assessment and referral clinician will meet with you in person or via a Telehealth Service, and involve anyone who has come with you.

If your child or teen is being assessed, family or guardian involvement is required. A parent or guardian must stay in the ED during the assessment process.

Your clinician may consult with on-call psychiatrists, outpatient providers and other community agencies to make the best recommendation for you.

Once the assessment is done, a plan is made with your ED health care providers to help you receive the right level of care. Your care may include:

  • admission to the hospital
  • transfer to another hospital
  • return home with a crisis plan in place
  • referral to a mental health provider at an outpatient clinic
  • referral to a day treatment or partial hospital program
  • information about additional resources

Meeting with the mental health care provider does not mean you will necessarily need to stay in the hospital. The amount of time spent in the ED varies for each person.

​Telehealth mental health assessments and referrals

Patients who seek help for mental health or substance abuse crisis in emergency departments (ED) at some hospitals may have access to Allina Health mental health experts through Telehealth technology.

If a mental health consultation is recommended, Telehealth technology connects the patient and the ED staff with the licensed mental health clinician. The clinician completes a comprehensive assessment and will make recommendations for treatment. Clinicians recommend the least restrictive level of care based on your condition and risk factors and may arrange inpatient admission or provide outpatient referrals as needed.  

This service is available only for ED medical staff at sites that are equipped with Telehealth technology.

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Source: Allina Health Mental Health
Reviewed by: Allina Health Mental Health

First published: 10/31/2019
Last reviewed: 10/31/2019