PANAMA CITY, Fla (WMBB)– Since Hurricane Michael, schools and medical institutions across the Panhandle have seen an increase in children experiencing mental health issues. That’s why a Mobile Response Team is making it their mission to help those in need.
Launched February 1st, the Mobile Response Team serves individuals ages 3 to 25 in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties. The team responds to situations where children are experiencing a mental health crisis.
“We’re able to go in and evaluate them and hopefully prevent the Baker Act from having to happen and we provide them with other services instead,” said Tricia Pearce, Community Relations Specialist for Life Management Center.
Since February, the team has made 400 evaluations—diverting 72% of children from being Baker Acted.
“We’re seeing a bit of an uptick in children having problems and needing some assistance. So we’re able to provide them the assistance they need and help them avoid the trauma that comes from having to go into the hospital,” Pearce said.
The team acts a mediator between at-risk children and those concerned for their health.
“We’re able to go in and evaluate the child and see what’s going on and see if they really meet the criteria for Baker Act or see that there’s something else to provide them the assistance they need without reaching that level,” Pearce said.
For more information on the resources offered by the Mobile Response Team, visit https://lmccares.org/events/mental-health-month/.