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City’s mental health response unit assists more than 770 people in less than a year

City’s mental health response unit assists more than 770 people in less than a year
City’s mental health response unit assists more than 770 people in less than a year(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:07 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee’s Emergency Assessment Mobile Unit, or “TEAM,” has served more than 700 people in less than a year.

Each unit includes a licensed mental health professional, a TFD firefighter or Leon County EMT, and a crisis intervention-trained TPD officer.

The group responds to mental health calls for service.

On Wednesday, the City Commission heard an update on the TEAM unit’s work during their retreat.

One officer who has been part of the TEAM unit since the first shift in March of 2021 called the work the “most impactful” of his career.

The officer explained that the difference between the TEAM unit and a patrol unit is time. He said TEAM has the ability to dig into issues, helping with small crises before they become big ones.

He said the TEAM Unit has been able to do personal and mass outreach, following up with family members to check in after a call, and connecting people to social services.

“As a specific example, the TEAM unit succeeded in getting 10 people from 3 families, including five children, emergency housing before the chilly holiday season. This was a direct result of our outreach efforts and our hikes into encampments and our collaborative relationship with the Big Bend Continuum of Care,” he said.

The TEAM unit has served more than 772 people since last march.

Director of Housing and Community Resilience Abena Ojetayo told Commissioners the pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues for many; she said they took the initiative when creating the group.

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said he wants to find a way to make the pilot program permanent.

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