[no_toc]Behavioral health crisis situations can be serious but do not always require an evaluation at a hospital emergency room. Most emergencies can be resolved without a trip to the emergency room and do not require prior authorization.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 for immediate help.

There are a number of specialized crisis services geared toward the needs of individuals with mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities that can be accessed through Alliance.

Alternatives to the Emergency Room

If you are experiencing a behavioral health issue, there are alternatives to seeking treatment in a hospital emergency room:

  • Call your behavioral healthcare provider if you have one.
  • Call the Alliance Access and Information Center 24 hours a day at (800) 510-9132 and a licensed clinician will evaluate your situation and assist you in finding the right kind of help. If appropriate, you may be referred to one of Alliance’s Crisis and Assessment Centers.
  • Crisis and Assessment Centers: A licensed clinician will work with you and Alliance to find an appropriate treatment setting before you leave the Center. The Centers in Durham, Wake, and Cumberland counties also provide a 24-hour community alternative to an inpatient hospital setting. They can provide stabilization services to individuals experiencing both mental health and substance abuse-related crisis. You can also go directly to the Crisis and Assessment nearest you.
  • Behavioral Health Urgent Care: The goal of behavioral health urgent care centers is to provide a community-based option to stabilize individuals experiencing behavioral health crises in a way that reduces unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations, and even incarcerations. Visitors to the Urgent Care Center have access to psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and other clinical staff in a safe, respectful environment.
  • Mobile Crisis Services: This is a 24/7 assessment and triage service in which helping professionals go into the community conduct assessments, evaluate for appropriate services that may be needed, and provide some crisis stabilization services. Mobile Crisis Services can be accessed through the Access and Information Center.
  • NC START: A set of statewide community crisis support programs for individuals (ages 6 and above) with intellectual/developmental disabilities and complex behavioral or mental health needs. Crisis prevention and intervention services are provided through crisis planning, crisis response, clinical consultation and training.

Page last modified: November 16, 2020