Session Details

12H - Hot Topics in Behavioral Healthcare Service Delivery

Monday, March 20

2:00–3:00 p.m.

Demand for behavioral healthcare services continues unabated as society continues to grapple with unrelenting pressures. Driven by the urgency of soaring youth suicide rates in a post COVID-era and combined with an inability to meet basic outpatient behavioral healthcare service needs, organizations are seeking innovative ways to manage patients in behavioral healthcare crisis. Two national initiatives focus on this, including deployment of a national crisis management response phone number (like 911 and known as “988”) and rollout of Certified Community Behavioral Healthcare Centers. Both initiatives have demonstrated success and improvements in accessing services for those in crisis. Further, psychiatric observation and crisis stabilization programs have demonstrated success in alleviating crisis demands.

Organizations also struggle with meeting access needs for basic outpatient behavioral health services in primary care settings. Service gaps are often driven by the lack of adequate workforce to provide care, especially providers. With the aging of the workforce and increasing pressure, stress and burnout on behavioral healthcare workers, strategies to provide services on an outpatient basis with fewer staff have become critical. Fortunately, demonstrated solutions to address these challenges exist, including use of a collaborative care model for delivering behavioral healthcare solutions in primary and specialty care settings.

Presenters will outline strategies in five core areas to address some of the most frequently cited areas of need. The session will explore how these strategies could be deployed in communities, and case studies will be offered along with best practices, outlining successful approaches.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how 988, psychiatric observation and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics can help your community maximize resources for patients in psychiatric crisis.
  • Understand collaborative care and behavioral workforce strategies to deliver behavioral healthcare outpatient services at scale in primary and specialty care settings.

Presented By

Stephen Merz, FACHE

Stephen Merz, FACHE


Sheppard Pratt Solutions
Leslie Zun, MD, FAAEM

Leslie Zun, MD, FAAEM

Medical Director

Lake County Health Department / Community Health Center