What is Crisis Stabilization?

The YSS Crisis Stabilization Program is for those times when a youth (ages 12-18) is experiencing an acute mental health, behavioral health or substance use issue that requires more than a visit to the pediatrician, but less than a trip to the emergency room.*

Crisis stabilization provides short-term care with 24-hour supervision in a residential setting without the added trauma of hospitalization. The program offers intervention and support for both the family and the youth to stabilize the current situation and plan for the future.

The Crisis Stabilization Program approach is trauma-informed, strength-based, and family centered from referral to discharge.

This program is not available to youth who are system involved through the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the
Juvenile Court System.

*Please note that anyone experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation should be immediately taken to the hospital for assessment and treatment.

counselor ames

What to Expect:

+ Initial crisis screening upon referral

+ 24-hour residential shelter placement for youth (length of stay is 1-14 days)

+ Assessment completed by a licensed professional to determine service recommendations

+ Family Team Meeting to establish goals for ongoing supports, as well as treatment recommendations for the individual and family

+ Services may include a combination of mental health, behavioral health, substance use, medication management, and/or family therapy

+ Behavioral Health Intervention Services (BHIS) to address unhealthy skills and improve how the youth and family function together as a unit

+ Discharge planning, including recommendations for services in the home community

Referral Process

+ Call (515) 233-2330 or (641) 423-7362 (depending on county of residence) and convey interest in the Crisis Stabilization Program.

+ Staff will conduct a brief screening to determine program fit.

+ If the youth is identified as a candidate for the program, staff will work with the mental health region to approve eligibility.

+ Once eligibility is confirmed, the youth will be admitted into the program and services will begin.


Allamakee, Black Hawk, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Grundy, Hancock, Howard, Humboldt, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Tama, Webster, Winneshiek, Wright

50 N. Eisenhower Ave., Mason City, IA 50401

CALL US AT: 641.423.7362


Audubon, Boone, Clark, Dallas, Decatur, Franklin, Greene, Guthrie, Hardin, Hamilton, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Warren, Wayne

703 Burnett Ave., Ames, IA 50010

CALL US: 515.233.2330

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Reach out today!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information. If your request is urgent in nature, we request you contact us by phone at 515.233.3141.