Emergency short-stay treatment for adults who are in a mental health crisis.

The community response emergency short stay treatment (CRESST) program is a 24-hour community-based mental health service available to individuals who need short-term treatment and support for a mental health concern that makes coping at home difficult but does not require a stay in hospital. This is a voluntary program for individuals who are able and willing to accept mental health treatment and support in an open setting. 

The CRESST team works with the individual on symptom management and stabilization, building on coping skills, fine-tuning medications, and increasing knowledge about mental illness.

Our three CRESST facilities are located in Abbotsford, New Westminster and Surrey. Individuals from across the region can access these services wherever there is vacancy. We place individuals in the CRESST program location closest to where they live whenever possible.

Services include but are not limited to the following:

  • Psychiatric and other assessments to understand the persons psychiatric and social support needs
  • Care or wellness plan to support the person’s goals
  • Medication review, adjustment, monitoring and management
  • Group and individual therapeutic support
  • Education, around mental illness and ways to get well and stay well
  • Emotional and social support
  • Support with meals and other daily living skills
  • Refer or link individuals to community services that meet their needs




  • 19 years of age and over and are experiencing a mental health concern that is causing them distress and challenges to manage at home.
    whose existing support system in the community (e.g. family, friends, temple, church, Alcoholics Anonymous support group, counsellor, family doctor, case manager), is not enough to help them through their current mental distress.
  • Who are willing (voluntary) to accept and work on their mental health treatment and support in an open setting.
  • Who can be treated safely in an open setting.
  • Who do not require care in a hospital. 
  • Who are not at risk for suicide or self-harm.
  • Who are actively trying to abstain from substance use.
  • Who are able to take care of their daily living activities, like basic self-care.
  • Who are not at risk for wandering (e.g. who do not have dementia).
  • Who are not showing violence or aggressive behaviours, or are not at risk for violence or aggression.


Referrals for this service can be made through a family doctor, mental health centre or the hospital. The person may contact his/her family doctor or local mental health and substance use centre if they are trying to access this service from the community. If the person is leaving from hospital, the hospital staff completes the referral for access to CRESST.