Mobile Crisis Services


In June 2012, Senate Bill 1038 (Thompson, Chapter 1043, Statutes 1998) and Welfare and Institutions Code 4696.1(f) recognized the need for access and coordination of services appropriate to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who have mental health needs.

In response to statute and regulations, regional centers and the county mental health agencies identified a lack of psychiatric in-patient beds due to hospital closures and a shortage of mental health staff with knowledge of developmental disabilities as the main barriers to available and adequate mental health services for individuals with I/DD. Mobile crisis services were developed as one component to address these barriers, funded through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

Characteristics of Services

Mobile crisis intervention services with highly trained, specialized staff provide response to an individual in crisis. Mobile crisis services are designed to stabilize and support the individual in their current living arrangement and/or other appropriate setting (e.g. day program, school, community respite, etc.) and/or ensure that they can return as soon as possible after a crisis occurs.

Mobile Crisis Services respond to crisis situations, through intervention and prevention, both on site where the crisis is occurring and/or via phone 24 hours a day. Some vendors include screening and dispatching of crisis response teams for assessment and transport to mental health hospitals, as needed. Though, the goal is to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and provide increased support to occur in a less restrictive setting. Similarly, a mobile crisis team aims to prevent unnecessary adverse contact with law enforcement. Training may also be provided to the individual, family, and caregivers to assist in developing and implementing individualized crisis prevention programs and intervention.


Last modified: June 10, 2020