The Mobile Crisis Unit is a part of the forensics team that also includes the Mobile Transition Team and Peer Support.
County Executive PJ Wendel said there has been an increase in mental health issues in the county, “How do we use, you know, other than law enforcement, to help these individuals? So what we’re finding is, you show up in a uniform, and a firearm, and a taser, and somebody who is in crisis – it just escalates potentially the situation. Now, many of these men and women are trained in some level of deescalation. But this Mobile Crisis Unit it is such an amazing group of people cause what they do, they go in in pairs and they deescalate. They use they tactics that they were taught and trained.”
Wendel said psychiatrists the county works with are able to get people the help they need and, thus, avoid the emergency room, “But now with telemedicine, there’s a lot more opportunity to bring up an iPad, go on the internet, have a televisit with a psychiatrist. And they could deem, is it a medication adjustment, is it a prescription of medication? And then that crisis team could help them within a 24 hour period of getting them the help they need, getting them set up with programs, getting them set up with a doctor’s appointment, or counseling session.”
Wendel said the Mobile Crisis Unit provides short- term service for people experiencing mental health crisis or distress. It can accept referrals anywhere in Chautauqua County, including self-referrals.
The Mobile Transition Team provides short-term service that links to long-term services. Peer support is long-term service for people in need of additional support; complement to counseling.
Wendel said the MCU is hoping to expand to obtain a vehicle so that people can be treated on site for mental health issues.
The 24-7 Chautauqua County Crisis Line is 1-800-724-0461.