The Changing Landscape of Mental Health Services 

From 2008 to 2013, numerous advancements were made at the federal level to codify and cover mental and behavioral health services in healthcare plans and Medicare. The result is a big increase in the number of Americans who are eligible for and able to afford coverage, as well as a new lens on mental healthcare as essential to holistic health and wellness—not an inaccessible luxury. 

In addition, a growing number of custody-based or residence-style mental health facilities means individuals have more options for receiving treatment for substance misuse, mental health disorders and more. And certain custody-based mental health facilities exist for the sole purpose of rehabilitating high-needs individuals or those convicted of crimes as they seek to reintegrate themselves into society. 

The safety needs within mental health facilities are unique. These are complex physical environments that often contain specialized building features, multiple stories, various security safeguards, commercial kitchens, open spaces like outdoor recreational areas and, in the case of custody-based mental health facilities, separate and reinforced residential rooms. Adding to the complexity is the facility’s building materials, which can range from dense, reinforced concrete to thin drywall, depending on the area. 

With behavioral health’s wide applications across a variety of populations—from those struggling with substance misuse or emotional trauma to those convicted of violent crimes—there’s truly no one-size-fits-all approach for a real-time locating system (RTLS) to enhance facility safety.

Staff and Resident Safety Above All

Unlike traditional custody-based or correctional environments, the staff and mental health professionals who work with residents in behavioral health facilities may not necessarily be trained to physically de-escalate intense or potentially violent situations. That’s where an effective RTLS system comes in. With Actall’s solutions for mental health facilities, duress and alarm signals are propagated in 3.0 seconds or less, resulting in better outcomes and fewer incidents of violence. 

In addition, precise and highly accurate location data allows help to get where it’s needed, quickly. Actall RTLS solutions couple speed with a high degree of accuracy, giving mental health facility leaders peace of mind in the knowledge that, should a situation arise, precise location data will promptly be available so staff can quickly receive needed aid and support.

Resident and Patient Empowerment

Many mental health and behavioral health facilities deal with high-needs populations of individuals who are living with acute mental health conditions. 

RTLS can help these types of long-term residents to be more empowered in their day-to-day life. By using accurate and reliable RTLS to track movement, rather than visually monitoring individuals, behavioral and mental health facilities can allow residents a greater degree of freedom. This could mean residents gain expanded access to outdoor areas, the ability to attend classes or manage their own medications. With reliable and consistent RTLS, the possibilities for further holistic treatment open up. 

Reliable RTLS for Mental Health Facilities

Actall specializes in delivering customized, dependable RTLS technology and tracking solutions. We achieve a high degree of RTLS accuracy by leveraging both long- and short-range signals, varying locator density and multiple antenna types to get the precise level of coverage your facility needs—whether that’s tracking populations in wide-open recreational areas or down to individual rooms.  

With a growing focus on mental health in the United States, RTLS-powered opportunities to provide excellent care, promote cultures of safety and improve day-to-day safety and interactions for both care providers and patients abound.