Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida recently teamed up with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO) to form a new six-person Behavioral Response Unit to better support youth and adults experiencing a crisis due to mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction. OSCO anticipates that the new unit will respond to about 8,00 calls for mental health crisis annually. The unit will be able to connect individuals with programs and services in the community, including addiction treatment programs, outpatient mental health services, intensive residential treatment programs or other specialized services.
With the new unit, when the sheriff’s office receives a crisis call, a Devereux Florida clinical professional and a sheriff’s deputy will respond with the goal of deescalating the situation. They will facilitate connections to community resources; develop individualized treatment plans; and ensure each person’s needs are met. Before the launch of the Behavioral Response Unit, the clinical professionals and sheriff’s deputies participated in 40 hours of specialized training on how to deescalate situations and arrive at peaceful resolutions. Patrol deputies initially responding to calls for service will ensure the scene is safe for the Behavioral Response Unit teams, and may request this support on-demand.
Non-profit Devereux was founded in 1912. It provides child welfare and behavioral health care services for children with mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges, and their families. Devereux entered Florida in the 1990s and has since expanded to serve more than 19 counties in Florida. Its service line includes a statewide inpatient psychiatric program, specialized group homes, foster care and specialty foster care, counseling centers, case management, abuse and neglect prevention services, and community outreach programs. In Orange County, Devereux Florida has been providing mobile crisis services to individuals up to age 24. Devereux also has centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts & Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
This was reported by Devereux Florida in December 2020.
Contact information: Christin Edwards-Salinas, LCSW, Program Manager, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Florida, 5850 T.G. Lee Blvd, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32822; 800-338-3738, ext.176422; Website: https://www.devereux.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=florida_partnership.