By Maureen Dunleavy, LMHC, Regional Vice President
Last September, Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, creating a new three-digit dialing code (9-8-8) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the nation’s main connection point to suicide prevention and mental health crisis response services which rolls out this month on July 16, but mobile crisis response is not new to the Guidance/Care Center (GCC).
For the past three years, GCC has had a mobile crisis response team to enhance the crisis system of care in the Florida Keys. The Mobile Crisis Response Team (MRT) offers 24-hour triage for all Monroe County residents and in person response when needed to avoid unnecessary psychiatric hospitalization, emergency room utilization, or jail. The goal is to have crisis counselors and peer specialists deescalate, link, and enroll individuals of all ages to our community-based behavioral health services. It first started as an under 25 program and expanded to all ages this year. The program has been overwhelmingly successful. In fact, GCC staff voted the MRT as the 2021 Program of the Year!
Recently, the program got together to celebrate their accomplishments with a pizza party. Shortly thereafter, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office had an individual on their threat assessment team who was in crisis. They requested assistance from MRT to do joint response with them so that they could get this individual the help they needed. MRT responded and assisted as expected. This outcome resulted in safety for the individual and our community. I was thrilled to receive accolades from Monroe County Sheriff, Rick Ramsay. We are very proud of our MRT team. Job well done!
“I wanted to pass on info on a great job and teamwork with a suicidal person. Our agency and its threat assessment team worked with Dwayne to come to a peaceful resolution and subsequent Baker Act linkage. My team had great things to say about Dwayne and GCC. Thank you, Dwayne and your team members,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
We would also like to use this opportunity to welcome our new MRT Team Leader, Rivon Shaneyfelt, Licensed Clinical Social Worker. How lucky to start with such a successful program! More info can be found on the GCC, Inc. website at guidancecarecenter.org.