9-8-8 Mobile Crisis Response - Animated Video


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Rough computer-generated transcription:

When a person who is called or texted 988 needs someone to respond. A trained mental health professional at the Georgia Crisis and Access line, also known as GCAL might dispatch a mobile crisis response team to help de-escalate the crisis and assess the individual for the right level of care.


Once they get the call, the mobile crisis team will reach out to the individual or the person who called on behalf of the individual in crisis, the team will first confirm the information they received and will provide an estimated time of arrival. Usually, mobile crisis teams respond to people in crisis face to face by traveling to their location, but they can also meet with the individual using telemedicine when the person is in a safe setting like a hospital, jail or school and when others are around who can keep them safe, share information and help the person communicate if needed. mobile crisis teams that respond on-site are comprised of two team members who work in concert to meet the person's immediate needs.


Teams are comprised of a master's level or licensed clinician and a paraprofessional or certified peer specialist before they respond. mobile crisis team members receive extensive training on rapid assessment, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and how to provide person-centered and recovery-focused services. There are two members on each team which ensures the safety of responders in a crisis and it allows the team members to talk with multiple people and or conduct an assessment and de-escalate the person at the same time. Because it's important to respect the privacy of people receiving mobile crisis services and avoid further escalation. The crisis teams arrive dressed in plain clothes and unmarked cars without lights and sirens. As a result, it usually takes them longer to respond than a first responder who is dispatched through 911.


The expectation is for mobile crisis teams to respond on-site within 59 minutes. Once the team arrives on scene, mobile crisis responders immediately get into information-gathering mode. They talk to the individual in crisis, as well as other people such as family members, teachers, or others who are present and who are willing to share information. These details along with the clinician's observations are critical in making an assessment and recommending the next steps based on the person's needs and preferences. In most cases, the crisis can be de-escalated and is referred to an outpatient appointment. Other situations might require further evaluation and treatment to ensure someone's safety and the safety of those around them.


When a responder determines an individual in crisis needs further evaluation, team members will work with the person to seek treatment voluntarily. Because evidence shows people have better treatment outcomes when they choose to seek help on their own. licensed clinicians only sign a 1013 or 2013 order that requires the individual be transported to an emergency receiving facility for evaluation when the person is determined to be at imminent risk to themselves or others and will not voluntarily seek evaluation or treatment. mobile crisis teams work hard to identify the least restrictive level of follow-up care that meets the person's needs based on their current wishes.


Mobile crisis services are available statewide in Georgia and can respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days of a the year. They serve people almost anywhere in the community. This service is funded through DBHDD and is available to anyone in Georgia regardless of insurance status.

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