Newport, RI – BankNewport this week announced that it has awarded Newport Mental Health (NMH) a $10,000 charitable grant to support its after-hours Emergency Crisis Services.

“It is so important, as a community, that we have in place the resources to provide immediate care to those who struggle with mental health issues,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President and CEO of BankNewport in a statement provided in a press release. “The after-hours crisis line meets an essential need in Newport County and is a program that we are proud to support.”

Accessible toll-free, the 24/7 NMH Crisis Line is staffed by mental health professionals, including licensed therapists and an on-call psychiatrist.  Newport Mental Health staff serves as the first point of contact for individuals in crisis, providing confidential phone triage to assess the immediate level of need.

“BankNewport has been an invaluable community partner. BankNewport’s most recent $10,000 award helps us make it easier for anyone to receive the help they need, when they need it. They have also been one of our major corporate sponsors for our golf tournament and annual gala,” said President and CEO Jamie Lehane of Newport Mental Health in the press release.

Lehane added that the NMH Crisis Line works in close collaboration with law enforcement, the new BH Link Crisis Program and NMH’s After Hours Mobile Crisis Clinician, who assists police on emergency calls that involve individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.

“The NMH Crisis Line also helps to reduce the volume of behavioral health services delivered in the hospital emergency department, the likelihood of psychiatric hospitalization, and sometimes incarceration,” said Lehane.  He explained that 76.3 percent of the NMH Crisis Line callers were diverted from the hospital emergency department and the average cost of one emergency room visit is about $1,300, which can save residents and overburdened hospital staff time and money.

Overall, the Crisis Services help individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. If an urgent need for intervention is necessary, emergency services are mobilized including NMH’s mobile crisis staff.  In all cases, the initial phone assessment leads to referrals for assistance or treatment, which may include the person being seen the next day at Newport Mental Health’s same day, walk-in Access and Referral Center.  

During 2019, the NMH Crisis and Emergency Services fielded over 889 calls, providing an effective alternative for de-escalation and resolution of a crisis event while producing more holistic evaluations, solutions, and referrals. The program is of growing importance as Rhode Islanders in all age demographics face rising rates of mental health and substance use conditions, suicide and overdose.  Anyone with a behavioral health need can call the crisis line at (401) 846-1213. 

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).