Behavioral Health Toolkit

This toolkit offers updated resources to help improve care for mental health patients who present to an acute care, behavioral health or an intensive outpatient setting. These resources provide an understanding of clinical assessment, behavioral triggers for mental health patients, risk assessment tools, scripting tools, cultural diversity self-assessments, environment of care assessment tools, depression screening tools and hotline resources that can help improve patient experience and provide a safer environment of care.

Care of the Behavioral Health Patient

Behavioral health encompasses many facets. Healthcare providers must be knowledgeable of the issues, risks and responses associated with these behaviors. The following information assists in the treatment of behavioral patients that present in many healthcare settings. Education is provided for patients, families and healthcare workers to reduce these risks and improve safety when caring for psychiatric patients.

  • Checklists


    National Health Service Corps: NHSC Comprehensive Behavioral Health Services Checklist

    A checklist to assess comprehensive behavioral health service elements.

    TAGS: Health, Behavioral

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    Quick Safety Issue 53

    Article by The Joint Commission that discusses the value of psychiatric advanced directives and offers information on how to these can be developed with patients.

    TAGS: Mental, Health, Care, Treatment, Patient, Advance, Directive, Psychiatric

  • Policy Templates

    Policy Templates

    Advance Directive for Mental Health Treatment

    Sample psychiatric advanced directive forms developed by the Office of Mental Health and Mental Health Advocacy Service.

    TAGS: Resources, Mental, Health, Patient, Issues

Depression & Suicide Screening & Prevention Best Practices

Depression and suicide screens are essential in identifying high-risk patients. Implement a plan to maintain safety in all patient care areas. Screening, assessment, re-assessment, education and prevention are the keys to a successful program. Attached are multiple tools to evaluate patients who present with signs and symptoms related to depression and suicide.

Safety and Security in Behavioral Health Arena

Evaluate post-violent incidents to identify alternatives to handle these situations and prevent future episodes. Educate staff to maintain competency in a safe environment. Consider the use of resource officers to monitor behavioral patients. Guidelines and checklists are provided below to follow the appropriate course of action.

  • Checklists


    Post-Incident Debriefing Form

    Debriefing helps healthcare workers and the patient evaluate a crisis situation and plan to avoid future episodes throughout the patient’s stay. Interventions such as debriefing sessions with patients post-violent episodes help to prevent reoccurring violence. This resource is a post-incident debriefing form to assist healthcare professionals in finding alternatives to aggressive or dangerous behaviors through the use of debriefing. This checklist provides the steps for conducting a debriefing interview and provides a guide to open communication.

    TAGS: Debriefing, Healthcare, Workers, Interventions

  • Algorithms


    Use Security Officers to Monitor High-Risk Patients

    Is your organization using security officers as sitters or one-on-one observers? If so, be sure your staff are appropriately trained and competent in the tasks being delegated to them. HC Pro’s Hospital Safety Center has released an article detailing the pitfalls of such assignments.

    TAGS: Patients, Safety, Center, Officers, Trained, Competent

  • Policy Templates

    Policy Templates

    Sample Sitter Guidelines

    This document provides guidelines for sitters who observe patients identified as a danger to themselves and others. The form is an education tool for sitters to make them aware of expectations while they are sitting with the patient, including when to notify the nurse immediately. These guidelines are an important resource to help maintain a safe environment of care for patients.

    TAGS: Guidelines, Patients, Nurse, Immediately, Resources, Safety, Environment

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Care of the Pediatric Behavioral Health Patient

The following material concentrates on the care of pediatric behavioral health patients. These guidelines provide screenings, scripts and education for healthcare providers, patients and guardians limited to the pediatric population.

Environment Of Care in Behavioral Health

The plan and design of the facility, along with patient surroundings, are involved in environmental safety. Checklists and assessments of these areas are available to maintain safe inpatient and outpatient behavioral health locations.

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Resources inform patients, families and healthcare providers of accessible services related to mental health disorders, addictive disorders and substance abuse. Those listed below consist of national hotlines, self-assessments, advocacy services and regulatory authority.