Bridge Navigator Program expands emergency department services for substance use and mental health
The CalBridge Behavioral Health Navigator Program (the Bridge Navigator Program) is expanding access to substance use and mental health services by funding the placement of health navigators in California emergency departments.
Funding for the program, a project of The Public Health Institute’s CA Bridge, under contract with the California Department of Health Care Services, comes as drug overdose deaths doubled from 2017-2021 in California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a record 107,000 overdose deaths across the U.S. in 2021.
Expanding emergency department personnel and resources can help address the critical need for evidence-based addiction and mental health care in life-or-death emergencies. The Bridge Navigator Program aims to identify patients in the emergency department and, once patients are stabilized, provide navigators specializing in addiction and substance use care to develop treatment plans and make connections with rehabilitation programs in the community.
CHPR faculty member Aimee Moulin, professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis Health, is co-founder of CA Bridge.
“It is often said that it takes 17 years to go from research to standard practice in medicine, but people are dying, and we don’t have that long,” said Moulin. “All communities deserve evidence-based medication for addiction and mental health treatment at their local hospital. Hospitals should apply now.”
The Bridge Navigator Program is accepting applications for its $8.5 million in funding through May 31, 2022.