Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile Unit (TEAM) Created to Respond to Nonviolent Mental Health Calls

Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile Unit (TEAM) Created to Respond to Nonviolent Mental Health Calls

At their Nov. 10 meeting, the City Commissioners unanimously voted to establish an enhanced crisis intervention response unit.

The unit, called the Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile Unit (TEAM), will respond to calls for non-violent mental or behavioral issues as well as Baker Act calls.

“Sometimes a response by the police department is not always what’s needed,” said Mayor John Dailey in a Twitter video following the vote. “What is needed is a higher level of service.”

Mayor Dailey also stated that “several months ago I called for mental health response teams in our community. I am proud that today we approved the creation of an enhanced crisis intervention response unit that can respond to calls and provide immediate medical or psychological stabilization when necessary.”

The unit will be made up of three people: a licensed mental health professional, a specially trained plainclothes Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officer and a Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) paramedic or emergency medical technician, staff reports. Apalachee Center will enter into an agreement with the City to provide two licensed mental health professionals for the TEAM.

Staff reports that the professionals on the team will be equipped to provide immediate medical or psychological stabilization plus assessment and referral for additional services when necessary.

The TEAM aligns with the City’s strategic priority to enhance public safety. It also aims to break down stigmas surrounding mental health and improve the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

“When we get those 911 calls and it’s more appropriate for a mental health professional to be on scene, we’re going to send the team,” Dailey said.

The City Commission has already approved $500,000 in funding for the program as part of its Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

The pilot program is expected to start by Spring 2021.

15 Responses to "Tallahassee Emergency Assessment Mobile Unit (TEAM) Created to Respond to Nonviolent Mental Health Calls"

  1. As a mental health professional, I came to this comment section tonfind informed discourse regarding this issue. Instead I found ignorance.

    The public needs to be better educated. These “libritards and mayor flinstone” are actually enacting a scientifically proven intervention that takes into account the states laws and statues regarding not only criminality but mental and physical health. Determining which “level of care” needed to respond is likely to be based on a myrid of factors in which Apalachee Center, the current Mental Health Receiving facility, is already trained to handle and has tools in place to quickly and effectively determine. However, a therapist cannot transport a client to baker act and must call the police to do so. This wastes precious time as the client may become distressed while waiting and concerned about what the neighbors and family may think if a cop car shows up and they are escorted into “custody”. This is especially true in areas that have a negative view on law enforcement. Also, many clients may suffer from hallucinations and delusions which make them paranoid. A plain clothed officer negates the intimidation factor, can monitor the therapist and situation for safety, provide transport and increase the relationship officers have with the community by being seen as helpful instead of punishing. The article also stated the officer will be specially trained, likely to also include CPI training which mental health providers use to de-escalate clients that are mentally ill in a way that prevents them from becoming violent instead of only reacting after they become violent. Also, a health professional is needed for those who may have harmed themselves or believe they are experiencing a mental health problem but are actually experiencing a physical health issue that is causing mental health symptoms. This professional may also be needed to provide medications to prevent overdose or other interventions to protect the person’s physical safety. Without this person, an officer and therapist would have to wait for medical help to arrive while the client may be literally bleeding out.

    Each of these individuals would be necessary and with the current massive influx of domestic violence, drug abuse and aggravation of mental health issues as well a taxed system due to COVID (yes, health workers can get COVID too and that is at least one less provider who can see X amount of people), I wonder if two teams will be enough.

    Now, if you idiots want to waste your tax dollars having 3 different agencies respond in this manner- Law enforcement dispatched and arrives, enforcement calls mental health out, mental health calls dispatch for medic, medic stabalizes then has enforcement transport to Mental Health facility. Then All three have to take time to submit incident reports and go to the facility. The client then has to go through admissions at mental health facility where a different mental health professional legally has to screen them again and a physician has to screen them again before they arrive to a unit where they are cared for.

    If you think ALL of that is a better solution than a specially trained team of individuals who can handle all aspects and reduce hours of time and tons of dollars…. you are the retard you were referring to earlier.

    1. This is their version of ObummerDoesn’tCare. Three squads of psychiatrists & a couple dozen orderlies… kept in & around city hall & the homes of the city kommissars to control their frequent breaks from reality.

      OK, the OPs here have convinced me that one team should be dedicated to keeping an eye ? on the mayor for the security of the citizenry & the state.

  2. —-It also aims to break down stigmas surrounding mental health

    If we do not stop training people to say there is a stigma, training profesionals and the public, If we do not stop accommodating people taught and teaching that prejudice, as Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

    1. Harold,
      Wow – you struck a nerve with me!
      As a professional who takes care of people and teaches – we are NOT perpetuating mental health issues as a stigma! We teach and know that mental health issues are a disease that is treatable! The stigma resides in you. Go take a class and learn what we teach in 2020.
      By the way, how many people have you had to Baker Act?

  3. Question…. How many Mental Health Calls has TPD responded to annually in the past 10 years? I’m sure it’s thousands but it would be great to get an exact number. I bet the Major has no idea. And how many of those people has TPD shot? From memory I can think of two. And both of them were pointing a gun at the officer at the time they were shot. It seems like we are solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

  4. Quick question……… When the Mother of the Black Man with Mental Problems that was shot called the Cops, did she tell Dispatch that he had a Deadly Weapon?

  5. “And we are gonna jack the #ELL up on your taxes to pay for our liberal utopian vision dream fantasy” said Mayor Flintstone.
    “Sure we are gonna get lawsuits out the @ss. And we will once again jack the #ELL up on your taxes to pay out those lawsuits too” said Mayor Flintstone. “Hey quit your whining you idiots elected me” said Mayor Flintstone.

  6. Dailey needs to join the TEAM for the first 12 calls and offer his expert opinion and experience. Hope you Libs in the City understand this will result in deaths. God bless our Police Dept. You deserve better than Dailey.

  7. “Sometimes a response by the police department is not always what’s needed,” said Mayor John Dailey in a Twitter video following the vote. “What is needed is a higher level of service.”

    So… the Mayor views law enforcement as a “(lower) level of service”? I assume then that the glorified social workers will be paid more for their “higher level of service”? One wonders who these politicians will call when a violent and (undetermined) mentally-challenged individual attempts to break into their home? Will they call for the “lower” or “higher” level of service in hopes of protecting their property and lives?

    Stand strong our brave men and women in Blue… we Informed Americans support you 100%.

  8. SO, when the Police have to respond, your “TEAM” will go there as well and NOW, that Officer has to worry about the safety of your “TEAM” as well…………………….. Good to know.

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