Project Description Narrative:
Mental health crises significantly burden Wisconsin's patients, families, and healthcare systems. In 2019, some 38,590 adults used crisis services in the state. 29,690 adults needed substance use services, while 1,189 drug-related deaths were reported. Most comprehensive community services clients in Wisconsin experience multiple mental health crises following an initial event.
The Quick Reaction Force Plus (QRF+) project addresses crisis events across two mental health domains: trauma and drug/alcohol recovery in two distinct but functionally similar populations—US military veterans and civilian emergency first responders. Based on national prevalence data, the state of Wisconsin has about 62,000 veterans and civilian first responders at risk because of work-related exposure to traumatic experiences. Individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at higher risk for mental crisis events, intentional and unintentional injury, smoking, as well as drug and alcohol misuse. Further, PTSD is associated with higher rates of several physical health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
This project aims to scale up a successful mental health peer mentor program and smartphone app to include civilian emergency responders struggling with PTSD. QRF+ increases data availability for a machine learning mental health crisis early warning system and equitably commercializes the software with industry partners.