The mobile mental health response team is making a positive impact during the first year in schools in Hillsborough County

District leaders have increased mental health services for students in Hillsborough County this year.

When the district noticed the impact of COVID-19, it added 100 additional therapists and invested $1.4 million to create a mobile mental health response unit.

The partnership with Gracepoint Health allows counselors to respond to schools when a student is experiencing a mental health crisis.

“So this is a brand new initiative that we’re really excited about,” said Maggie Dean of Hillsborough County Schools. “This initiative was brought to the district as we seek to increase the number of times we use licensed mental health professionals to respond to students experiencing a mental health crisis. We wanted to be able to provide a comprehensive assessment and to stabilize the student in the least restrictive environment and try to help with de-escalation at school.”

The neighborhood support team has noticed the difference and with the summer holidays approaching, they want to ensure that students and parents are still supported.

“We are coming in the summer, so we really want to work with our staff and our students and families to know that there is support even during the summer months.” Michael Kelleher, clinical care supervisor, said. “If they’re with a community partner or if they want ideas on how to support their child over the summer. So we’re really preparing and preparing for that.”

If you’re struggling or need someone to talk to, you can call 211 anytime to get in touch with local support services.

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