Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.

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R523. Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

Rule R523-18. Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams Certification Standards.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R523-18-1. Authority.

(1) This rule establishes guidelines, procedures and standards for the establishment of statewide Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams (MCOT) as directed in Subsection 62A-15-116(4) and Section 62A-15-1402.

R523-18-2. Purpose.

(1) This rule is enacted for the purpose of promoting the availability of comprehensive behavioral health crisis services throughout the state, by:

(a) creating standards of certification, care and practice for statewide mental health crisis response system using the MCOT model of care,

(b) outlining the responsibilities of MCOTs including interaction with civil commitment, and

(c) awarding grants as directed by Subsection 62A-15-116(4), by application through qualified Local Mental Health Authorities.

R523-18-3. Definitions.

(1) "Assessment" means a formal and continuous process of collection and evaluating information about an individual to ascertain whether or not a patient is functioning at a healthy psychological, social, or developmental level and aids in service planning, treatment and referral. Assessments establish justification for interventions, services and referrals.

(2) "Certified Crisis Worker" means an individual who meets the standards of certification that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health (division) sets, in accordance with Subsection R523-17-4.

(3) "Crisis Stabilization" means direct mental health care to non-hospitalized individuals experiencing an acute crisis of a psychiatric nature that may jeopardize their current community living situation, or put them at risk of psychiatric hospitalization by:

(a) providing emotional support and safety, and

(b) mobilizing community resources, the individuals support system, family members, and others for ongoing maintenance, and rehabilitation.

(4) "Designated Examiner" is defined in Subsection 62A-15-602(5).

(5) "Emergency medical service personnel" means an individual who provides emergency medical services to a patient and is required to be licensed under Section 26-8a-302, which includes:

(a) paramedics,

(b) medical directors of a licensed emergency medical service provider,

(c) emergency medical service instructors,

(d) and other categories established by the committee.

(6) "MCOT certification" means the certification created in Section R523-18-5.

(7) "MCOT personnel" means a licensed mental health therapist as defined in Subsection 58-60-102(5) and a certified crisis worker.

(8) "Mental Health Crisis" means any intense behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric situation perceived to be a crisis by the individual or family experiencing the crisis, or others who closely observe the individual where:.

(a) the crisis manifests itself by symptoms of sufficient severity that a prudent layperson who possesses an average knowledge of mental health issues could reasonably expect the absence of immediate attention or intervention to result in:

(i) serious jeopardy to the individual's health or well-being, or

(b) a danger to others, or

(c) significantly reduced levels of functioning in primary activities of daily living, including interfering with the ability to go to school, work, and engage in meaningful relationships.

(9) "Mental health crisis services" means mental health services and on-site interventions that a person renders to an individual suffering from a mental health crisis. This includes the provision of:

(a) safety and care plans,

(b) stabilization services that are offered for a minimum of 60 days, and

(c) referrals to other community resources.

(10) "Mobile Crisis Outreach Team" means a mobile team of medical and MCOT personnel that provide mental health crisis services and, based on the individual circumstances of each case, coordinates with local law enforcement, emergency medical service personnel, and other appropriate state or local resources. Medical professionals may serve in a response or oversight role on the team.

(11) "Mental Health Officer" means an individual who is designated by a Local Mental Health Authority as qualified by training and experience in the recognition and identification of mental illness.

(12) "Mental Health Therapist" means an individual licensed in Utah under the mental health professional practice act as defined in Subsection 58-60-102(5).

(13) "Peer Support Specialist (PSS)" means an individual who meet the requirements outlined in R523-5.

(14) "Family Resource Facilitator (FRF)" means an individual who meets the requirements outlined in R523-6.

R523-18-4. General Provisions.

(1) MCOT services are based on the following principles:

(a) cultural competence,

(b) strong community relationships,

(c) the use of peer supports,

(d) the use of evidence based practices,

(e) building on existing foundations with an eye towards innovation,

(f) utilization of an integrated system of care,

(g) outreach to students through school-based clinics,

(h) trauma informed care,

(i) de-escalation,

(j) access to supports and services is timely,

(k) services are provided in the least restrictive manner possible,

(l) crisis is defined by the individual or family,

(m) treatment plans are strengths-based,

(n) helping the individual and family to regain a sense of control and safety is a priority, and

(o) embed elements of Zero Suicide.

(2) MCOTs must be capable of serving in the context of a crisis as outlined below:

(a) children, adolescents, adults and older adults,

(b) individuals with co-occurring conditions including:

(i) mental health conditions,

(ii) substance use disorders,

(iii) medical needs,

(iv) intellectual/developmental disabilities,

(v) physical disabilities,

(vi) traumatic brain injuries; and/or,

(vii) dementia and related neurological conditions.

(c) individuals demonstrating aggressive behavior,

(d) individuals who are uninsured or unable to pay for services, and

(e) individuals who may lack Utah residency or legal immigration status.

(3) MCOTS shall encourage each modality of service within the Crisis Response System to incorporate peer support into the services they provide, when clinically appropriate.

R523-18-5. Minimum Guidelines and Standards of Care.

(1) Mobile crisis services provide a timely in-person response to a crisis in the community. Mobile crisis services shall collaborate with local and statewide crisis line services, and any additional crisis response services, including the stabilization and mobile response services if available.

(2) When a MCOT is dispatched from the statewide crisis line, the statewide crisis line staff shall provide whenever possible the:

(a) the name of individual in crisis,

(b) their date of birth,

(c) the presenting problem as demonstrated through the individual's current behaviors),

(d) the location of the individual needing services,

(e) any history of violence and/or substance use,

(f) the presence of any weapons and/or dogs in the house, and

(g) the need for a coordination plan to include police assistance, and/or family's willingness to helping coordinate services while accounting for all relevant safety and security issues, so the MCOT can provide a timely face to face response.

(3) When law enforcement requests response from a MCOT, and is staying on scene, it is important to provide as rapid as a response as possible which may mean, responding to the crisis with limited information.

(4) A MCOT must have the capacity to:

(a) intervene wherever the crisis occurs,

(b) serve individuals unknown to the system,

(c) coordinate multiple simultaneous requests for services and,

(d) work closely with police, EMS, Fire, dispatch, crisis hotlines, schools, hospital emergency departments, and other related agencies.

(5) A MCOT must operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year in providing community-based crisis intervention, screening, assessment, and referrals to appropriate resources.

(6) In screening the individual in crisis, the MCOT must collect at least the following information:

(a) identifying information,

(b) the chief complaint/presenting problem,

(c) acute medical concerns and chronic health conditions, and

(d) current healthcare providers.

(7) The MCOT must administer an ongoing assessment, if clinically indicated by the initial screening, that shall include:

(a) any imminent danger to the individual in crisis through potentially lethal means of harm to one's self or others.

(b) risk for suicide using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)or another empirically validated instrument,

(c) the individual's emotional status and imminent psychosocial needs,

(d) individual strengths and available coping mechanisms,

(e) resources that can increase service participation and success, and

(f) the most appropriate and least restrictive service alternative for the individual, and the referral mechanisms and procedures to access services.

(8) Following the assessment, if there is risk for harm to self or others, the MCOT shall engage the person to establish a crisis response plan using:

(a) Crisis Response Planning (CRP),

(b) Stanley Brown Safety Plan, or

(c) another evidenced based safety plan/crisis prevention practice.

(9) If clinically indicated access ER or other crisis receiving facility to address ongoing safety concerns and for further evaluation.

(10) A MCOT must be staffed by skilled and licensed mental health professionals.

(11) A MCOT must understand the emergency civil commitment process as described in Section 62A-15-629, and one of the members must be either a Designated Examiner or Mental Health Officer to facilitate civil commitment should that be the indicated course of action for the safety of the individual, family or the community.

(12) A MCOT will preferably utilize Certified Peer Support Specialists and Family Resource Facilitators, in conjunction with a Mental Health Therapist when deploying for mobile crisis outreach.

(13) A MCOT shall respond to individuals in the community who are in crisis with the goal of resolving the crisis in the least restrictive manner and setting, including:

(a) reducing inpatient treatment admissions and Emergency Department visits if appropriate,

(b) increasing jail diversions, and

(c) reducing law enforcement involvement while maintaining public safety.

(14) A MCOT shall collaborate with stakeholders involved in the crisis service delivery system and partner to resolve service delivery concerns.

(15) MCOT providers shall have a published plan in place that outlines triage policies and coordination of crisis response services with community stakeholders.

(a) The plan shall address community collaboration with the following partners at minimum:

(i) Local Mental Health and Substance Abuse Authorities,

(ii) SMR providers,

(iii) local law enforcement,

(iv) fire departments,

(v) dispatch,

(vi) hospital emergency departments,

(vii) schools,

(viii) EMS,

(ix) Department of Human Services agencies, and

(x) other social service partners, including health plans and other crisis services in the local community.

(16) The MCOT provider shall enter into MOU's with each Local Mental Health and Substance Abuse Authority operating a crisis line in their region, and the Statewide Crisis Line. The MOU shall include the following elements at a minimum:

(a) data sharing process between Statewide Crisis Line, Local Authority and MCOT provider including data on number of callers from region MCOT serves,

(b) mobile deployments from the Statewide Crisis Line,

(c) a clear procedure for coordination between the Statewide Crisis Line and MCOT provider, for deploying MCOT services for individuals in need of MCOT services who have called into the Statewide Crisis Line,

(d) data and a process for warm hand offs between Statewide Crisis Line, MCOT, and Local Authorities to support individuals in ongoing services; and

(e) procedures for case consultation on services, high utilizers, and collaboration.

R523-18-6. MCOT Personnel and Team Certification.

(1) The Following requirements shall be met in order for an agency to receive a certification of their MCOT:

(a) personnel shall consist of a minimum of two members, one of which shall be a:

(i) Mental Health Therapist who is a Certified Crisis Worker, and is either a:

(A) Designated Examiner, or

(B) a Mental Health Officer.

(b) The second member shall be a Certified Crisis Worker, who is preferably a Certified Peer Support Specialist or a Family Resource Facilitator.

(c) All teams shall have access to a Designated Examiner and a medical professional for consultation during the MCOT response.

(2) Agencies shall apply for participation and funding in MCOT activities through a Request For Proposal process that requires:

(a) submitting a plan that describes service delivery and team make-up,

(b) submitting a plan for meeting minimum guidelines and standards of care as outlined in this rule, and

(c) evidence that the statutory match requirement of 20% will be met.

(3) The division director or designee shall determine if an agency is granted an exception to any of the above requirements, and still obtain certification based on that agency's submitted plan.

(4) The division shall provide certification to applicant agencies if review of the submitted materials demonstrate that the plan of care and team make up meet the guidelines set forth in this rule.

R523-18-7. Division Oversight of Programs.

(1) The division may enter and survey the physical facility, program operations, and review curriculum and interview staff of a certified MCOT agency, to determine compliance with this rule or any applicable contract to provide such services.

(2) Participating organizations including Local Authorities and the Statewide Crisis Line shall, allow representatives from the division and from the local authorities as authorized by the division to monitor services. Such visits may be announced or unannounced.

R523-18-8. Corrective Action of Certification.

(1) Each MCOT shall maintain its certification by meeting the guidelines set forth in this rule.

(a) If the division becomes aware of an MCOT that has violated the conditions of its certification trough a complaint or site visit survey, the division shall:

(i) immediately take action to review the allegations,

(ii) take steps to ensure that all consumers involved with the allegation are protected, and

(iii) notify the agency under investigation of its findings within 30 days or less depending on the type of finding.

(2) The division shall take the following actions against the MCOT Certification of an agency found to be in non-compliance with the guidelines established in this rule:

(a) For major non-compliance issues, defined as conditions that affect the imminent health, safety, or well-being of individuals, the division shall require:

(i) submission of a written corrective action plan completed by the agency immediately that ensure compliance being achieved within 24 hours or less.

(ii) if compliance is not possible within a 24 hour time period, the MCOT Certification shall be terminated until the major non-compliant issue is resolved.

(b) For a significant non-compliance issue defined as a non-compliance in required training, paperwork, and/or documentation that is so severe or pervasive as to jeopardize the effectiveness of services, the division shall require:

(i) submission of a written corrective action plan completed by the agency within 10 working days that identifies the steps it will take to rectify the issue within 30 days of receipt of the draft copy of the findings report made by the division.

(ii) if compliance is not verified by the division after a 30 day time period, the MCOT Certification shall be suspend, revoke, or not renewed until the significant non-compliant issue is resolved.

(c) for a minor non-compliance issue defined as a relatively small in scope infraction that does not impact client well-being, the division shall require:

(i) submission of a written corrective action plan completed within 15 working days that identifies the steps the agency will take to rectify the issue within 60 days of receipt of the draft findings report made by the division.

(ii) if compliance is not verified by the division after a 60 day time period, the MCOT Certification shall be suspend, revoke, or not renewed until the minor non-compliant issue is resolved.

(d) For a deficiency defined as an MCOT not being in full compliance with the conditions of certification, but the deficiency discovered is not severe enough to be categorized as a non-compliance issue, the division shall require:

(i) submission of a written corrective action plan without a formal timeline, but is negotiated between the division and the agency being investigated.

(ii) If the deficiency continues to be unresolved past the date of completion, the finding shall be classified as a minor non-compliance issue, and corrective action shall follow the guidance outlined in R523-18-8(2)(c).

(3) Any agency that has had its MCOT Certification revoked suspended, not renewed or not granted may request an informal hearing with the division director or designee, in writing, within 10 business days of receiving notice of corrective action.

(a) The division director or designee shall review the request and determine to uphold, amend or reverse the action within 10 business days, and the division shall inform the agency of the decision in writing.

(4) All MCOT Certification statuses shall be maintained by the division, and shall be made available upon written request.


mobile crisis outreach team, MCOT standards, statewide crisis response standards

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

April 22, 2019

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

62A-15-116(4); 62A-15-1402

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R523, please contact the promulgating agency (Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.