Who we are
Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems offers a comprehensive crisis care system that provides consumers with a minimally intrusive set of interventions to assist with those who are experiencing a mental health or psychosocial crisis. The services support humanistic and recovery-oriented principles through instilling hope, social connection and a belief that all individuals experiencing crisis can readily regain control of their lives with the right supports and/or interventions.
Holcomb’s Berks County Crisis Center, located in West Reading, PA, offers a crisis program to assist children, adolescents and adults experiencing varying levels of crisis. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are free to the residents of Berks County. All of Berks County Crisis’ services are consumer-driven, recovery-oriented and culturally competent. This is achieved through the utilization of psychiatric rehabilitation principles, the use of peer specialists throughout the crisis system and a strong emphasis on diversionary efforts to help maintain individuals in the community whenever possible. Berks County Crisis Center has culturally diverse staff, including individuals fluent in Spanish and or access to a language line for interpretation services.
How We Can Help
Just as we call an ambulance in a medical emergency, there is help for resolving crisis situations. When events go beyond our control–whether for individuals, families, communities, or schools, we benefit from outside intervention. Trained professionals are available to assist with problems like mental illness, loss, school-based emergencies, substance abuse, family conflicts, and abuse. Crisis management exists to help explore solutions and implement positive change.
- Stabilize the immediate crisis and provide emergency mental status assessments/evaluations
- Facilitate voluntary or involuntary psychiatric examinations when appropriate or identify alternatives when possible
- Function as a liaison to emergency response personnel (Police & EMS) and mental health facilities/providers
- Support the individual/family/school in developing means of coping with and preventing future crises
- Formulate a follow up plan that includes linkages to community based resources
- Provide brief follow-up and support to individual/family/school following the crisis
- Assist schools and communities in responding to critical incidents
- Provide information and referrals to individuals, families and schools
Berks County Crisis Services401 Buttonwood Street
West Reading, PA 19611
toll free: 888.219.3910
Telephone Crisis Counseling
Most referrals to the crisis service come through the crisis telephone hotline. Calls into the line will be triaged by crisis staff to determine the appropriate level of crisis intervention required and provide telephone counseling when more intensive interventions are not required.
The telephone crisis service provides counseling, consultation, education and referral to individuals experiencing acute psychological or psychosocial problems or to the family, friends, colleagues, school staff and/or agencies calling on behalf of another person. Ideally crisis intervention at this level of care alone will preserve the individual’s ability to resolve his/her crisis, utilizing his/her family or natural supports while remaining within his/her own community.
The goal of the telephone crisis line is to ensure the personal safety of the caller and to promote overall recovery and wellness. While some crisis situations can be resolved solely through telephone support, many issues will require a formal face-to-face contact, whether mobile outreach or a walk-in intervention, to maximize the efficacy of the crisis intervention.
Crisis Walk-In Center
(Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, call ahead preferred)
The walk-in crisis service is seen as an important alternative to the telephone counseling or mobile outreach.
Some individuals in crisis require the support of face-to-face interventions, but prefer to have the interventions removed from their home or community. Individuals in crisis may elect to arrive to the crisis center or may decide to become a walk-in during a crisis phone intervention (Monday-Friday 8am-4pm), staffing permitting.
When an individual or family arrives at the crisis center, they will be greeted by crisis staff in the front lobby and then escorted to a private room for confidentiality and comfort. At that time the assessment and triage will be conducted, including family or friends to the extent desired by the individual in crisis.
As with all crisis services, the goal of this intervention is to provide solution-focused interventions that ameliorates the immediate problems, with linkage to aftercare supports. Crisis staff will work with the individual until sufficient resolution has been achieved and a solid aftercare plan has been developed.
Community-Based Mobile Outreach
The mobile crisis outreach involves a response that will travel to any location within Berks County in which a resident is experiencing a crisis.
The goal of all mobile crisis outreaches is to provide triage/assessment, clinically appropriate crisis de-escalation, supportive counseling and solution-focused interventions.
To maximize the effectiveness of interventions and minimize the intrusion in the individual’s life, it is important to the crisis staff that the outreaches occur within the most naturalistic setting for the individual/family in crisis.
Crisis staff will work with the individual and/or family to determine the most setting to provide the service, whether that is in the individual’s home or another mutually agreed upon, safe/supportive place. Staff will make every effort to include family members or social supports that an individual believes would support a timely and effective crisis recovery.
Adult Crisis Residential Program
Berks County Crisis Center’s Adult Residential Program provides short-term, voluntary, residential placement to accommodate adults, age 18 years of age and older, who require a higher level of care than outpatient services and a lower level of care than inpatient hospitalization. Treatment and psychosocial supports are available to individuals in acute psychiatric crisis but who are able to remain within the community. The program provides consumer-driven, recovery-oriented treatment in a comfortable, home-like environment. The Crisis Residential Program supports consumers in developing and achieving individualized goals in order to resolve the acute crisis and achieve timely community reintegration.
Services offered at the residential program include:
- Nursing and Biopsychosocial Assessments
- Psychiatric Assessment & Medication Management
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Peer Support Groups
- Twelve Step Meetings
- Linkage to community-based supports
- Discharge Planning
- Recreational Activities & ADL support
What are the rights of Berks County Crisis Clients?
- Each client has the right to be treated as an individual according to his/her individual needs.
- Each client has the right to expect that he/she will be treated by competent staff according to a professional code of ethics, that preserves the client’s personal privacy and dignity.
- Each client has the right to expect that all records concerning his/her treatment shall be kept confidential and only released with the written permission of the client, or as specifically dictated by law.
- Each client has the right to receive aftercare planning that is initiated early in his/her services.
- Each client has the right to be provided with information concerning his/her own diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis and to participate in decisions involving his/her treatment.
- Each client has the right to refuse treatment and/or medication. In this event, the client has the right to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
In accordance with applicable federal and state law, regulatory requirements and/or agency policy, Holcomb will not deny any person equal access to its facilities or services on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin or disability. Neither will it deny any person equal access to its facilities or services on the basis of age or gender, except those programs that specialize in the treatment of a particular age group or gender.
If you have a grievance that has not been adequately addressed by program staff,
please call 610-363-1488 and ask for Quality Assurance.