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New Mobile Crisis Response Service Aims to Provide Additional Support to Crisis Line Callers

DES MOINES, Iowa – CICS and Eyerly Ball Mental Health Services are teaming up to create a new mobile crisis response service.

Central Iowa Crisis Line will use the new service to provide additional support to people who struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other mental illnesses.

Director of Crisis Services at Eyerly Ball Mental Health Services Krystina Engle said once a phone call is made, the phone attendant will determine whether the caller may need additional support.

If the support is needed, a response team will arrive within the hour of the phone call.

“We are not done after the call is done. So, within 24 hours of that call one of our case managers will follow up with that individual. We’ll provide that ongoing kind of support for at least up to 30 days. We are not meant to be their full-time case managers, or take over services for them. It’s more just to be able to insure they are getting out to the right resources,” Engle said.

Engle said the idea is to help free-up police officers and give assistance to both children and adults.

The service will officially start by the end of March. Teams will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

CICS will respond to phone calls in its region. The counties that can use the service include:

  • Boone
  • Greene (starting July 1, 2018)
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Hardin
  • Jasper
  • Madison
  • Marshall
  • Powershiek
  • Story
  • Warren

Engle said once the team arrives to its location there will be various assessments done.

“They’ll do a behavioral health assessment, kind of determine if there is any suicide risks, the lethality of that. They’ll determine what kind of support systems they have involved. Do they have any services already set up, do they need to be reconnected to services or do we need to get them services,” Engle said.

Eyerly Ball Mental Health Services is currently hiring for response teams. Engle said they will start out with three teams and expand from there.

People applying need to have experience in behavioral science fields.

People are invited to attend the first informational meeting about the response service Wednesday in the Inservice room of the Skiff Medical Center in Newton at 3:00 p.m.

To call the Central Iowa Crisis Line for assistance dial 844-258-8858.