September 27, 2022
In August, Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare’s crisis emergency response program began operating on a 24/7 basis.
Chris Mayer, clinical director of crisis services at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare, presented to City Council Tuesday on the program’s progress. He said Illinois residents will have access to the mobile crisis line any time of day with Trilogy’s new program.
Trilogy is part of a network of mobile crisis response providers available in Evanston to provide immediate mental health services.
Mayer said Trilogy has been meeting monthly with Evanston’s Alternative Emergency Response Subcommittee to develop ways to connect the community with the program and “988,” the newly launched national mental health crisis line.
Trilogy and the subcommittee have utilized websites, videos and flyers in both English and Spanish to spread the word. They are also partnering with Evanston Police Department to connect 911 callers who need mental health support with the appropriate resources.
“I believe they have the highest engagement of any police agency that I’ve heard of through this program,” Mayer said. “They’ve been very transparent and we receive almost daily referrals from them for 911 calls for us to respond.”
Mayer and former 9th Ward Ald. Cicely Fleming said residents should call Trilogy directly if they are experiencing a mental health crisis, as opposed to 998, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
“When it goes through 988, it is routed through a number of people, and that might take a while,” Fleming said. “If you call Trilogy directly, you get a direct response from our service provision providers.”
Fleming said Trilogy’s program also ensures confidentiality when responding to a call, having their responders wear plain clothing and drive regular cars.
City Council also discussed updates to the Living Room, a drop-in service for adults in a mental health crisis. The single-family home owned by AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital Evanston and located at 311 Elmwood Ave still needs renovations before launching the program.
Though City Council previously approved $250,000 to renovate the house, councilmembers discussed increasing that figure to $600,000 in order to make the space functional and safe.
“We still have ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds, if we need, to kick in,” said Ald. Devon Reid (8th). “I think this council is committed to doing that (using ARPA funds) for this really important project.”
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