Flagstaff Expands Mental Health Services to Crisis Situations

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The city of Flag pole approved a mental expansion program health services and facilitate access for people without the police responding to certain calls.

This week, city council approved a three-year, $ 2.5 million contract. The money will fund access to behavioral health specialists and paramedics who respond to mental health and public intoxication calls.

Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy said the goal was “to deliver a better result.” That’s what we’re looking for – a better outcome for some people who just need help ”.

How will the services work?

Anyone in need of assistance can call 911 and specifically request to be directed to a mobile response unit. In these cases, the police will not need to intervene unless a crime is also reported.

“It’s a much more efficient use of government resources when we have problems. For example, someone has a heart attack. We send an ambulance, it doesn’t require two police vehicles, an ambulance and a fire truck. If we’re responding to a mental health attack, similar to a heart attack – we don’t need to send the whole group there, ”Deasy said.

The city is working with members of Terros Health on this intervention unit.

Terro Health Senior Director of Services David Obergfell says expanded mental health and public safety services are badly needed, especially now in the midst of crisis. Covid-19 pandemic.

“The reality is that the stress is so high right now, there is going to be a greater demand for services, especially for behavioral health. That demand is only going to grow, so we want to make sure that we are able to keep up. the pace, ”Obergfell said. .

His message to anyone in difficulty is never to be afraid to ask for help.

“There are many different systems that can give you support and care, so if you need help, ask for it,” Obergfell said.

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