50 Years Of MCES

50 Years of MCES

1974: MCES opens with crisis center, hotline, and 20-bed inpatient unit in former Building 16 at Norristown State Hospital (NSH).

1975: MCES psychiatric emergency medical service (EMS) initiated; Criminal Justice Liaison position created to work with Norristown Police Department.

1976: MCES begins training police officers in crisis intervention “Police School” (now known as the Crisis Intervention Specialist Program – CIS)

1978: MCES recognized as “Exemplary Program” by US Department of Justice

1980: Inpatient beds expanded to 30; MCES given the “County Achievement Award” from the National Association of Counties.

1983: MCES received the “Award of Excellence” from the Pennsylvania Association of Mental Health/Mental Retardation Providers.

1988: Relocation to former Building 50 at NSH with 40 beds (soon expanded to 44).

1990: MCES given the “Service Program Award” by the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Pennsylvania.

1992: MCES cited as “the best-known model jail diversion program in the US” in E. Fuller Torrey, Criminalizing the Seriously Mentally Ill; MCES formed Montgomery County Forensic Task Force.

1994: Community Lecture Series launched to commemorate MCES 20th Anniversary; MCES provides psychiatric services at Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

1995: Cited as a “Notable Program” in Double Jeopardy: Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

1997: MCES begins outpatient program for patients with intellectual disability.

1998: Crisis Residential Program (CRP) (now known as Carol’s Place) started as “Ranch House” on campus of Valley Forge Medical Center; MCES Co-occurring Disorder Program initiated.

1999: Expansion to 63 beds; MCES cited as “An Exemplary Project” by the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Transition Specialist position and Outreach Program created to support patients at high risk of readmission after discharge.

2000: MCES receives the “Significant Achievement Award” from the American Psychiatric Association for services on behalf of persons with mental illness at risk of incarceration.

2002: MCES expands to 73 inpatient beds; “My Action Plan” (MAPS) Relapse Prevention Program; MAPS room created on East Wing; MCES receives “Annual Caring and Commitment Award” from the Montgomery County MH/MR Board; MCES co-founded the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force with the Montgomery County Department of Health.

2004: Inpatient treatment philosophy revised and treatment teams reorganized. 

2005: MCES receives “Community Service Award” from NAMI-PA in recognition of the contribution of the MCES Criminal Justice Program  from 1975-2005.

2008: MCES participates in planning and implementation of Montgomery County Mental Health Court.

2009: MCES introduces Certified Peer Specialists as inpatient recovery support resources; the Ongoing Abstinence Recovery Schedule™ (OARS) program is introduced to help co-occurring inpatients develop a personal daily/weekly recovery schedule to sustain sobriety after discharge.

2010: MCES begins after-hours coverage of Elder Abuse Hotline under contract with Montgomery County Department of Aging and Adult Services (now Office of Senior Services).

 2012: MCES launches electronic medical record (EMR) system; Comfort Room opened on North Hall with funding by the Mary Daly MacFarland Foundation; MCES Crisis Services cited by Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania as an example of a comprehensive, full-service crisis program

2013: MCES becomes part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network; Inpatient concert series featuring professional performers began and runs for a number of years.

2014: MCES staff stage production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at NSH Building 33 theater; MCES partners with SEPTA to place signs with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at commuter rail stations in SE PA; MCES launches Community Continuity-of-Care Program, funded by the van Ameringen Foundation, providing home visits by MCES nurses to recently-discharged patients to decrease re-hospitalizations.

2015: AMTRAK National Police Force completes MCES CIS Training; MCES receives “Community Impact Award” from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

2016: MCES develops Emergency Responder Suicide Prevention Tool Kit, which is distributed to police officers and EMTs in Montgomery County and to CIS Program trainees.

2017: Contracted with Bucks and Berks Counties to provide involuntary psychiatric evaluations (302s) to individuals referred to MCES from those counties; MCES becomes smoke-free; Crisis Nurse coverage initiated in MCES Crisis Department; “Israel’s Room” created in memory of Israel Paltin, on West Wing for use by male patients

2018: Partnered with Central Behavioral Health on “Project Connect,” enhancing continuum of care for MCES inpatients after discharge; Observed 20th Anniversary of the Crisis Residential Program by renaming it “Carol’s Place” in memory of Carol Caruso, a former CRP Director and mental health advocate; Montgomery County Commitment Office (MCCO) issues updated Petitioner’s Handbook.

2019: MCES named “Co-occurring Provider of Distinction” by Magellan Behavioral Health for providing integrated and coordinated care to patients with co-occurring disorders.

2020: MCES Physician Assistants Department received P. Jean Drew, MD, Humanitarianism Award from Drexel University for clinical care of vulnerable persons; CIS Program received 2020 Impact Award from NAMI Montco at 9th Annual Benefit for the Brain; MCES begins 3-year ligature risk remediation project on inpatient environment of care: MCES programs topic of various chapters of Changing Times: Transforming Culture and Behaviors for Law Enforcement,

2021: MCES participates in Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (MCDHHS) Community Based Care Management (CBCM) Program to address role of housing insecurity in frequent inpatient readmissions; MCES initiates Inpatient Suicide Prevention Awareness Group.

2022: MCES transitions to 988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline call center; Carol’s Place relocates to facility on grounds of Eagleville Hospital: MCES and MCDHHS recognize police departments that have 100% of officers CIS-trained.

With the Montgomery County Office of Mental Health initiated program acknowledging police departments in Montgomery County where all officers completed Crisis Intervention Specialist (CIS) training with a CIS Program Commitment Award

Developed and offered “CIS for Corrections” Program to provide correctional officers with skills and techniques in mental health crisis intervention.