Street triage services are now common but the population they serve is poorly understood. We aimed to evaluate a local service to determine the characteristics of those using it and their outcomes in the 90 day period following contact.
We found that there were high levels of service use and that the vast majority of contacts were via telephone rather than in person. Street triage was used by both existing secondary mental health patients and non-patients. Follow-up rates with secondary services were high in the former and low in the latter case.
Services are very busy where they exist and may be replacing traditional crisis services. It is not apparent that they work to increase follow-up among those using them, unless they are already in contact with services. In this service, although there was a joint response model nearly all responses were provided by telephone.
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