Critical Time Intervention

Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is a time-limited evidence-based practice providing specialized case management interventions to society’s most vulnerable individuals during periods of transition. To facilitate community integration and continuity of care, the CTI model blends the delivery of intensive supports that meet immediate client needs with assistance aimed at facilitating long-term community integration and continuity of care.

Core tasks of CTI use targeted goal-setting broken down into 3-month phases to prioritize transition-related needs. It identifies and addresses case management tasks that can be completed within the time-limited service. CTI links consumers to longer-term professional and community-based supports that will continue after the service is completed. This method also fosters communication between all the consumers’ support teams, including interdisciplinary professionals and natural supports (families, friends, etc.).

The Importance on Focusing on Transitions

For a variety of reasons, change is hard for everyone.

  • Participants in Public Behavioral Health System (PBHS) services may be especially vulnerable to the stress and challenges of significant life change.
  • “Solving” one problem often brings to light others previously unidentified or not yet able to be addressed.
  • Accessing community supports can be challenging.
  • Without natural supports and ongoing preventative and maintenance care, individuals rely on expensive emergency department visits, inpatient treatment, and crisis services.
  • Many transitions may disrupt existing services and support systems.

Which Behavioral Health Programs Can Benefit from CTI Training? 

CTI may benefit Maryland Public Behavioral Health System (PBHS) programs serving individuals transitioning from a number of situations.

  • Homelessness (including shelters or transitional housing) to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
  • Inpatient psychiatric treatment to the community
  • Incarceration (jail or prison) to the community
  • Residential Rehabilitation Program (RRP) to independent living or PSH
  • Nursing home to home and community services
  • Inpatient Treatment or Recovery Housing for Substance-Related Disorders to the community or PSH

How to Receive Training in CTI

Kris Wright, LCPC

Maryland PBHS providers interested in implementing the CTI model may be eligible to obtain training and consultation free of charge through the Maryland Evidence Based Practice Center. To learn more, contact the EBPC Consultant Trainer, Kris Wright, M.S. LCPC, at kris.wright@som.umaryland.edu.


Resources

Overview of CTI

For new programs seeking to better serve consumers in transition, and for existing Case Management programs looking to enhance their services and outcomes, fine more information about the CTI model here: CTI Overview

CACTI – The Center for the Advancement of Critical Time Interventions

Maryland’s application of CTI is based on collaboration and study with leadership at CACTI, a center developed to support the broad dissemination of CTI, to ensure quality and fidelity in its implementation. Through this Global Network, the Center promotes collaboration among CTI practitioners, trainers, and researchers on promising adaptations and enhancements to the model. Learn more about CACTI.

Herman et al., 2007

This article published in The Journal of Primary Prevention is about the evidence supporting the efficacy of CTI for preventing homelessness in high risk groups. View the article.

SAMHSA “Strategies for Building a Skilled Workforce” 

From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHASA), review their recommendations for implementing empirically supported practices addressing homelessness in vulnerable populations including those with behavioral health concerns. Learn more about these strategies.


Need Technical Assistance Related to CTI?

The EBPC regularly schedules technical assistance sessions for Maryland providers seeking help with CTI. To find out about upcoming sessions, click the “Technical Assistance Sessions” button below.