Santa Fe gets Mobile Crisis Response Team Oct10

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Santa Fe gets Mobile Crisis Response Team

The Santa Fe police department receives many calls a week from people in the community who are concerned about someone in a behavioral health crisis. With the commotion of responding emergency teams, often these situations become only more aggravated when police and EMT arrive on site. This is where Santa Fe’s new Mobile Crisis Response Team comes in.

This past Summer, Santa Fe’s police department began a partnership with Presbyterian Medical Services with a contract of $350,000 per year for 4 years to help aid individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This team is comprised of about twenty licensed professional councilors who are on-call throughout the week both during the day and night. An on-call counselor is contacted after the police have determined that the situation is safe and that a counselor would be appropriate.

During a meeting with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) New Mexico, Laurel, one of the day-time counselors, recounted many situations where the individual needed someone safe to talk through a tough situation, or just needed someone to be with them, particularly when they had intent to harm themselves. When describing behavioral health, Laurel talks about how many of us compensate during the day in order to handle stress. When we can’t compensate anymore, we “de-compensate”; for some people this becomes a behavioral health crisis situation. Presbyterian Medical Services doesn’t just stop with an on-site response either; they also follow up with the patient to provide long term help, decreasing the recurrences of crisis situations in the future.

Although police officers are required to complete training on how to handle people who are “de-compensating”, the experience and expense of emergency respondents makes the new Mobile Crisis Response Team a promising option. Already the Mobile Crisis Response Team has helped many individuals in this past few months, seeing dramatic positive impact on our community.