The Crisis and Transition Services (CATS) program provides short-term, intensive outpatient mental health care to children and adolescents who have had a mental health crisis and presented to an emergency department or crisis center. Youth in CATS may struggle with depression, suicidality, self-harm, or other mental health concerns.
CATS services are currently offered at specific emergency departments and crisis centers in nine counties throughout Oregon (CATS map).
All CATS programs provide education about keeping youth safe in the home, short-term crisis support, brief therapy, and connections to long-term mental health services. Other services available in some counties include in-home therapy, family support with a trained family peer, youth peer support, and psychiatric care. The CATS team works with the family for 30-45 days, or until the youth and family are connected with appropriate outpatient mental health services.
OHSU is leading a study to about the CATS program. This study will help us understand how youth who participate in a program like CATS do over time; it will also help CATS continue to improve.
“We received immediate resources for counseling service providers that we need. Having someone come speak with us and make a safety plan in the ER was very comforting and helpful as I did not know how to help my child.”
“We are so grateful for this service. The whole experience was a big surprise for us and we wouldn’t have known what to do without them. [Clinician] and [Family Support Specialist] were both amazing. Such great guides for us and walked us through the steps and helped us figure out what do to help [youth].”
Crisis and Transition Services (CATS) is a state sponsored program, funded through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
In addition to funding, OHA provides leadership, assistance, and program support.