By Alisa Roth
When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, often the only alternatives are jail or an emergency room. Neither of those alternatives is particularly helpful, and sometimes they can make a person’s condition worse. Nationwide, cities and counties are searching for cheaper and more therapeutic options. Some are turning to Forensic Assertive Community Treatment, or FACT, teams — a way to provide a range of support services designed to keep people with serious mental illness out of the hospital and out of the criminal justice system.