Promising Practices

Participation in the IBH program included a one-year follow-up to discuss successes and challenges. Through a series of four calls for each hospital over the year, practices were identified that were most often associated with success in the program. These promising practices are listed below.

Stakeholder Collaboration 

By far the most important activity that led to success was identifying and engaging stakeholders and including them in the planning of the project. They were mindful to include groups such as other behavioral health agencies and providers (even competitors), law enforcement, public health, local ministry and school system. They met at least quarterly as a group and often created sub-groups to work on specific activities between large group meetings. Building relationships among the members was overwhelmingly mentioned as the most significant variable impacting success.

Resource Directory

Many groups did not realize the many resources available in the community. Creating a resource directory allowed providers and consumers to identify available opportunities to access services. This was often housed on the hospital website.

Universal Release of Information

Communication among providers was critical to the timely care of the client. A universal Release on Information (ROI) included a list of potential agencies that will support a client’s care. Intake at any participating agency could utilize this same ROI. This was especially helpful in times of crisis and lead to quick intervention and treatment.

Mobile Crisis Team

The mobile crisis team went directly to a client’s home to assess and de-escalate. They proactively handled issues rather than a client automatically be sent to the Emergency Department (ED). This team could be requested by the client, their family, law enforcement, the school system or any other agency.

Community Navigator

The community navigator consistently touched base with clients to provide support and ensure the client was following their treatment plan and/or taking their medication. They quickly identified additional resources needed.

Roving Therapist

The roving therapist was available to go where needed rather than staying in an office. Like the mobile crisis team, they pro-actively addressed situations before they become a crisis. They collaborated with other agencies such as working with the jail to plan for a person’s behavioral health needs prior to release.

Client Transport Vehicle

Transporting clients from the ED to an inpatient facility required waiting for ambulance availability. Transportation then tied up an ambulance that may have been needed for other emergencies and kept the client waiting in the ED longer than needed. Some projects included the purchase or donation of a former police vehicle. Legal requirements were investigated and addressed. Many agencies involved in the stakeholder group, including law enforcement, contributed to the sustainability.

Implementing the Make It OK Campaign

Many of our Stigma Project hospitals implemented the HealthPartners, Inc. Make It OK campaign by using the toolkit on the Make It OK website and by a facilitated action planning process. View examples of Bigfork Valley Hosptial's implementation documents below:

18-month Action Plan

18-month Action Plan (PDF Document - 6 pages)

This project is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H54RH00023. The information, conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and no endorsement by FORHP, HRSA or HHS is intended or should be inferred.