By Teresa Kay Albertson
Warren County’s mobile crisis response team responded to 44 cases in its first four months of operation.
The unit was launched in July by Central Iowa Community Services, a mental health and disability services agency that operates in 11 counties.
“Through our crisis line, the crisis counselors now have the opportunity to call out our mobile crisis response team when they feel they are in contact with an individual or family in need of immediate support,” Betsy Stursma, director of CICS’s Warren County office, told Warren County supervisors last week.
The team is staffed by therapists, nurses and social workers from Eyerly Ball Community Mental Health Services, who respond to calls for support from local police and family members concerned a loved one might be experiencing a mental health crisis.
The unit also responds to individuals having suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues.
“They talk with the person to find out what is going on and do their best to safety-plan with the individual in crisis,” Stursma said. “Sometimes, it is determined that hospitalization is necessary, and the team can assist with transporting that person and act as a liaison with the hospital.”