ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When someone is in a mental health crisis, The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has the available teams and resources to help them get the services they may need.
Mental Health, sometimes known as mental hygiene crisis calls, is not new to MCSO.
“Those calls come in numerously during a shift, throughout the county,” Lt. Brian Unterborn from MCSO said.
Over the years, the Sheriff’s office has built a team that is designed for those calls.
“We do have individuals within the department, members of the crisis intervention team who have received advanced training in mental health, mental health diagnoses, and in de-escalation techniques,” Lt. Unterborn said. “So when these calls come in, those members of the CIT team will respond to those calls.”
Along with CIT, they also work with the Forensic Intervention Team — or FIT.
Lt. Unterborn said, “They are out there, 24/7 with us. We can communicate with them on the radio. When we go to these mental health calls, we can have them respond with us so we have the mental health counselor right there with us to interact with these people, to get them connected with various other services that we ourselves may not be aware of.”
The nature of the calls they receive can vary. Somewhere the situation can escalate quickly, and others can be the opposite.
“There are others that may be more on the extreme end,” Unterborn said. “In those cases, it’s all about safety for the community, safety for the individual in crisis at that particular time.”
With these intervention teams being relatively new, it’s the success stories that the department values the most.
“The big success is when they don’t call us anymore,” Lt. Unterborn said. “We’d have people call us 4,5,6 times a day and we get them connected with who we need them to. If it’s medication, therapy, whatever services they need and those calls drop.”
For those who may be interested in applying before the recruitment deadline closes on August 4, Lt. Unterborn says there is an opportunity for deputies to be trained for the CIT team.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis at any time, the National Suicide Hotline is available at 988 or the local lifeline at 211.