Broadlawns Expanding Mental Health Crisis Response to Aid Kids and Teens

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(Des Moines, IA) -- More mental health aid is on the way for children and teenagers in the Des Moines metro.

Broadlawns Medical Center is expanding their Mobile Crisis Mental Health Response Team to better aid children undergoing a mental health crisis, and to create positive connections with family for potential future aid.

Broadlawns says the goal of the program's expansion in to transport, stabilize, and offer long-term care for the children, teens, and the family.

"What affects one person in the family affects everybody, so we need to be able to evaluate the person who's in crisis, plus evaluate the situation and the family members to make sure we deal with everybody," says Phil Sullivan. "There's a good possibility we're going to return and we're gonna have a second and a third interaction with these people, so we want to make sure it's positive."

Phil Sullivan is a team leader for the Broadlawns Medical Center's Mobile Crisis Mental Health Response Team.

The program's expansion includes partnerships with the Des Moines Police Department and the nonprofit Easterseals Iowa.

Sullivan tells WHO 13 a team of three will be rotating between parts of the 911 center in the Des Moines police station, and another two staff members will be on-call to respond to mental health calls in the field.

Krable Mentzer, Chief Administrative Officer for Easterseals Iowa tells WHO 13 their partnership with the program will bring "access to immediate mental health counseling and supports that can be provided in their home or in a residential environment at Easterseals for up to five days".

Broadlawns aims to kick off the program in 2022.

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