On May 8th, KCRG’s Brea Love shared information about Foundation 2’s Mobile Crisis Outreach program and how our agency defines a crisis. You can view the story online here or read the text below. We appreciate this partnership with KCRG, helping Foundation 2 to connect with viewers experiencing crisis.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – In the last fiscal year, crisis intervention organization Foundation 2 has seen a 73% increase in the number of people calling to request services.
“The mental health system within Iowa has been under quite a bit of stress funding wise. We’ve seen a lot of programs close down, a big push for people to be treated in the community, which has really increased the places that we’re going and kind of the complexity of the calls we’re seeing,” Program Manager Drew Martel said.
Anyone in need can call the crisis hotline and with permission a counselor from Mobile Crisis Outreach will meet the person who needs help where they are.
“Counselors sit down with them and just talk, ask them about the situation, ask about the nature of the situation, ask about what’s worked in the past, what hasn’t worked in terms of treatment, and we would try to stabilize the situation,” Martel said.
Even the number of counselors dispatched has increased. On average the organization sends out 700 a year. It’s on track to double that by July.
“It’s becoming more and more necessary with all of the changes with our mental health system recently. We are finding that we are a really needed service for people who are maybe unable to get access for different mental health services,” Program Coordinator Jessica Copley said.
“We don’t charge, we don’t collect insurance information or anything like that. If they call and want counselors, as long as the situation is safe for our counselors, we’ll go over there and sit with them and be with them,” Martel said.
Each situation can be different. Calls can have lasted between a few minutes to a few hours.
“A parent might call us and say ‘my child had a really rough weekend behavior wise and this morning they’re not getting out of bed. I don’t know what to do, I have to go to work, they’re not talking to me, and they’re not getting out of bed.’ We’ll send counselors over there to try and mediate that and figure out what’s going on and what services they need,” Martel said.
With the increase of calls, staff have noticed some are concerned their situation may not be a crisis.
“For one person it could be something that caused them anxiety throughout the day, and they need help processing through that. It could be there’s been a death in the family. Truly there isn’t a single crisis we wouldn’t attend to if the person felt that it was something that was negatively impacting their life,” Copley said.
Foundation 2 encourages anyone in need to call. The hotline number is 319-362-2174. You can also find help at this website.