Shakopee, MN; April 23, 2020 – For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has bought with it altered daily routines, uncertainty, financial pressure, and social isolation. This combination can leave some people feeling out of control and needing help to manage their emotions.
Scott County residents have 24/7 free access to the Scott County Mobile Crisis Response Team by calling 952-818-3702. A caller to the crisis line may receive crisis counseling, information or referrals, or a direct link to a provider who will come to where the caller is located (using social distancing measures) and provide a crisis assessment.
Scott County residents are encouraged to contact Mobile Crisis Response if they or someone they care about is experiencing a crisis involving the following: suicidal feelings, panic, hopelessness, moods wings, defiance, angry outbursts, severe anxiety, hallucinations, depression, delusions, increased substance use, isolation, self-injury, or other behaviors that indicate a mental health crisis.
Jay Theisen, Scott County Mobile Crisis Response Director, said that the crisis line is open during the COVID-19 pandemic and ready to serve people who are struggling. Many of the assessments can be conducted via telehealth, which allows clinicians to talk face-to-face with an individual over a computer, tablet, or smartphone. When necessary, a face-to-face intervention can be arranged using appropriate social distancing.
Theisen said callers to the crisis line have a variety of challenges, but most are mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic as an exacerbating factor to their current mental health.
“We’re seeing families who have struggled with mental health or substance use in the past who are now faced with the additional stress that COVID-19 has brought to their lives. We’re working hard to help them with appropriate interventions and compassion,” Theisen said.
Theisen explained that uncertainty about the future is contributing to a significant increase in depression, anxiety, loneliness, and panic attacks. However, he said, the crisis team’s services are helping. “We’re finding that when people are presented with coping mechanisms and someone outside of their home to talk with, it can be tremendously helpful and calming,” Theisen said.
Though each situation is unique, Theisen says, interventions for callers may include: de-escalation, short-term safety planning, provisional diagnosis, initial crisis plans, referrals, subacute crisis stabilization facility, in-patient hospitalization referrals, and/or referrals to other needed programming and supports.
The mobile crisis response team is operated by Canvas Health, a nonprofit community mental health agency, and housed in the Scott County Law Enforcement Center in Shakopee. Canvas Health has provided Mobile Crisis Response Services to Scott County since 2017.
Celebrating more than 50 years of bringing hope, healing, and recovery to the lives of people we serve, Canvas Health offers over 35 clinic- and community-based programs. Our highly skilled, compassionate clinicians provide services to people struggling with mental illness, substance use, abuse, crisis, unstable housing, and trauma. As a nonprofit community-based agency, Canvas Health acts as a safety net provider, serving those with complex needs who may not otherwise be able to afford care. For more information, visit www.CanvasHealth.org.