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Matt Boster

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Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Dec 11 2018 3:21 PM

HOLMES COUNTY – Holmes County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce an upcoming partnership with Life Management Center and Big Bend Community Based Care through the Florida Department of Children and Families Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program to help deliver behavioral health services to children at risk for mental health crisis.

The program, which is still in development stages, is part of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (Senate Bill 7026), which came into effect after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida to help better provide for the safety of children in schools and the community.

As part of the Rural Mobile Crisis Team, the Sheriff’s Office will be able to communicate immediately with mental health providers for coordination of behavioral health services for those at risk until crisis services can be established. 

“We commend Sheriff John Tate and his team for recognizing the vital role that law enforcement plays in bridging the gap between crisis mental health services and people in need,” said Mike Watkins, CEO of BBCBC. “For the first time, Life Management Center and the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office are in a unique position to help those who need it the most in their own community.”


The service focuses on children, youth, and young adults ages 25 and under and will make on-demand crisis intervention services by a certified mental health professional available 24/7, regardless of the individual’s ability to pay, wherever the behavioral health crisis is occurring.

In addition to helping resolve the crisis, teams work with the individual and their families to identify and develop strategies for effectively dealing with potential future crises.

The primary goals of the team are to lessen trauma, divert from emergency departments or juvenile/criminal justice, and prevent unnecessary psychiatric hospitalizations. 

“Accessibility to mental health services in rural counties such as ours are extremely limited, especially for our youth,” said Sheriff Tate. “A Legislature-created Task Force within DCF found that involuntary Baker Act examinations for children under the age of 18 have increased 86% between fiscal years 2000-2001 and 2015-2016.”

“These mobile response teams will offer a more stabilizing system of care by not only providing immediate access to mental health counselors wherever the child or young adult may be, but also by helping to develop an individualized plan for each person, as offer wrap around services and additional resources to that individual’s family to help strengthen each home as a unit.”  

The program is expected to roll out in January.

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