The Changing Landscape of Community Mental Health Care: Availability of Treatment Services in National Data, 2010-2017

Abstract [from journal]

Objective: The authors sought to describe changes in availability of crisis and substance use treatment services in U.S. mental health facilities (including outpatient and inpatient facilities) from 2010 to 2017.

Methods: Using National Mental Health Services Survey data, the authors of this descriptive study examined changes in the proportion of facilities providing crisis and substance use treatment services during the 2010-2017 period.

Results: Although the proportion of outpatient facilities offering treatment for substance use increased significantly during the period studied (adjusted relative risk [ARR]=1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.01-1.10), the proportion of outpatient facilities offering crisis services significantly decreased, including emergency psychiatric walk-in services (ARR=0.81, 95% CI=0.75-0.88) and crisis intervention (ARR=0.88, 95% CI=0.83-0.93).

Conclusions: Mental health facilities are an integral piece of the behavioral health safety net and need to respond to changes in service needs. Findings suggest that mental health facilities have not shifted their services mix to address the ongoing suicide epidemic.

Keywords: Community mental health services; crisis services; mental health; substance abuse; suicide prevention; supportive services.