Boldly Paving A Path For Urgent, Personalized Care

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Focused Assessment for Services and Treatment (FAST)

Increasing demand for outpatient mental health services has led to longer delays in accessing treatment. Without timely access to care, people with urgent needs have few options outside of seeking treatment at hospital emergency departments.  

To help address the problem and with start-up funding from the Town of Brookline’s ARPA funds, The Brookline Center launched FAST (Focused Assessment for Services and Treatment), a six-week intensive care pathway designed to provide prompt mental health support to adults and children in crisis. 

Over six weeks, patients engage with a multidisciplinary care team including a mental health provider, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a case manager. This team makes service recommendations based on a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s specific mental health needs. “We want folks in the community to come to us and tell us where they are suffering and what they are concerned with,” says Rachel Hennessy-Crowell, Clinical Director of Outpatient.  

FAST care teams create personalized treatment plans with the most effective therapeutic strategies and services aligned with patients’ unique circumstances. Plans might include time-limited outpatient therapy, time-limited skills-based or interpersonal process group therapy, psychiatric care, parent guidance, couples and/or family therapy, and referrals to specialized community services. 

“Our goal with the FAST pilot is to test new systems and improve processes, ultimately leading to better outcomes for our patients. By providing quicker access to care, making more efficient use of mental health resources, and reducing the backlog of people seeking care, we are working to create a reliable infrastructure that can support more people in need,” says Hennessy-Crowell.