The Regional Behavioral Health Network (RBHN) was formed
in 2002 by three organizations: LifeLinks, Human
Resources Center of Edgar and Clark Counties, and Sarah
Bush Lincoln Health Center. The objective of RBHN is to
provide 24-hour crisis coverage for behavioral health
Since the Regional Behavioral Health Network was founded,
several surrounding communities have requested crisis
services to be facilitated by the designated crisis team
within their counties. RBHN now provides crisis services
for rural Coles and Cumberland counties and for children
in rural Shelby, Moultrie, Clark, Edgar, and Douglas
counties in east central Illinois.
These organizations were all struggling in some way to
meet the healthcare needs of people in a behavioral
health crisis. The health system was attempting to treat
psychiatric patients in the emergency department. When
these patients did not need inpatient services, staff
were unsure how to access outpatient services for them at
area mental health centers in a timely manner.
Conversely, if crisis clinicians from mental health
centers needed inpatient options for clients, there was
no direct way to connect them with the health system.
Staff from each organization formed a clinical committee.
Committee members reviewed data from all partnering
organizations in order to estimate volume and determine
documentation needs. This committee also made
recommendations for staffing, such as qualifications and
shifts as well as office locations.
A separate information technology committee investigated
wireless connectivity options for the use of cell phones,
data management, and billing. All partnering
organizations agreed which agency would employ the RBHN
network staff, which included a network director, an
office assistant, and clinical staff.
RBHN decided to form and staff a 24/7 toll-free crisis
line. All three organizations routed their crisis calls
to this line. When callers phone the toll-free number,
they are connected to a trained crisis clinician who can
offer immediate assistance with knowledge of area
behavioral health resources. The service is free to those
who choose to access it.
The crisis line is funded by RBHN collaborating agencies
and state and federal funding.