When someone has a mental health crisis (e.g. they experience psychosis or mania, they feel suicidal), they and their loved ones need help to survive it, recover, and become resilient to whatever led to the crisis. The current psychiatric crisis system cannot reliably do this; instead, it often leaves people traumatised, alienated, and burdened with bureaucratic problems.
In June 2021 I lost my brother to suicide after he was forced into punitive and unhelpful psychiatric treatment. Many more people have experienced what he did, and they deserve better.
Many things need to go right to create a mental health crisis response system that reliably helps people survive, recover, and find resilience. The structure of the current system stops the people in it from working together to make the necessary changes for the system to succeed at its purpose.
We are working to build a new crisis system that can successfully help individual people in the unique situations that lead to their crises, and employ caring, resourceful clinicians without subjecting them to burnout.
We’re following the lead of Suicide Crisis UK, who have operated for nine years without losing a single client to suicide. We’ve learned from the leaders of transformative mental health projects Parachute NYC, Soteria Alaska, Intentional Peer Support, and CAMHPRO. We’ve been supported by Emergent Ventures, funders from the Effective Altruism movement, and individuals who want this change to happen.
Read about why we’ve chosen this direction and what needs to happen next.
How you can help
If you are a mental health practitioner (or in training) in the Bay Area and you would like to get involved in the project, email email@example.com.
If you would like to contribute to help us get our first service up and running, donate here.
If someone you know is experiencing a manic episode, follow our guide to learn how to support them and figure out how to get professional help.