The Parkview Behavioral Health HelpLine is a first point of contact for those in need of assistance due to issues related to addiction, depression or mental health concerns. But often, people assume there will be a negative consequence when they reach out. Here, we take a closer look at how it works, including the role of our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), police who are trained to work with mental health providers and the Parkview Emergency Department, with Christopher Kiester, Interim Access Center Supervisor, Parkview Behavioral Health.
Who answers the calls?
Local professionals take each call. The calls are answered by a member of our Assessment Team, which is located at Parkview Hospital Randallia. This team consists of a range of professionals, from registered nurses to social workers, depending on availability, but all are equally qualified to help. While staffing varies by time of day, during peak hours, we have up to four team members answering calls.
Is it confidential?
Yes, we always make sure that we maintain confidentiality in everything we do. Although it is not required that a caller provides their name, we often ask for it if we need to schedule appointments or follow up with the caller. We also like to document the call into the medical record for future reference if the caller presents for a psychiatric assessment at one of our hospitals.
We do keep a log of calls. Most of the calls are logged anonymously, but documenting allows us to track volumes and trends. In some instances, we enter the call into the medical record. Usually this occurs when we are scheduling appointments for the caller or the caller is going to present for an assessment.
Do I have to be a certain age to call and get help?
While you do not have to be a certain age to call, we strongly encourage minors to involve parents in the decision to call, as the parent will need to give permission before an assessment is completed or any future appointments are scheduled. We try to maintain the privacy of every caller, but there are times when we would need to notify the parents. If the minor is reporting active suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or is deemed to be unsafe in any way, then our staff will need to notify parents to ensure the safety of the minor.
If it is an addiction issue, do you notify the authorities?
No, we do not notify the authorities for addiction issues unless specifically requested by the caller.
If I call, will I be admitted to Parkview Behavioral health or put on a 72-hour hold?
Just because you call, does not mean you will be admitted to PBH or at risk of being placed on a 72 hour hold. Every person’s situation is unique, so when an individual calls the HelpLine, a trained professional will gather information and help guide the caller toward the most appropriate level of care. However, if the caller is deemed to be an immediate danger to their self or others, and is not wanting to come to the hospital for an assessment, HelpLine staff may call for a trained CIT officer to perform a wellness check on the caller and possibly bring the caller to the emergency room for a psychiatric assessment.
What if I need immediate help, not just resources for the next day?
If you need immediate help, you can call the HelpLine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and one of our staff will guide you to the nearest location to have a psychiatric assessment completed to determine if inpatient treatment is needed.
Where will you likely send me?
We have limited appointments available with our therapists at PBH, so most patients are referred to the Parkview Hospital Randallia ER. If the caller lives too far away, we can direct them to the nearest Parkview emergency room and we can complete the assessment via phone or telepsych, depending on location.
We will help schedule appointments with one of our therapists if available but we are unable to provide transportation. Sometimes we contact a CIT officer/EMS to provide transport if the caller does not have safe transport.
What if I just need to talk to someone?
While we do not provide counseling through the HelpLine, anyone is able to call and talk to one of our specialists if they just need someone to talk.
Is any kind of follow up provided?
The HelpLine staff is able to schedule appointments for any of our outpatient programs. There are also dedicated care navigators who will follow up with callers to ensure the callers are doing well, they have the resources they need and they’ve made any further appointments that are needed. Our primary goal is to connect you with the right resources, support you and answer any questions you might have.
Quick points about HelpLine …
- Each day varies but the busiest times are usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- The average length of a call is between 3 to 5 minutes long, depending on the type of inquiry.
You can call the Parkview Behavioral Health HelpLine anytime, at (260) 373-7500 or (800) 284-8439.