Milwaukee County's Mobile Crisis team is seeing increased demand for mental health care

NOW: Milwaukee County’s Mobile Crisis team is seeing increased demand for mental health care

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- The need for mental health resources continues to grow in our communities. That's why Milwaukee County is making efforts to expand its community-based crisis intervention services.

The Milwaukee Mobile Crisis team takes more than 20,000 calls each year and as the demand for mental health services grows in our community, the team is also looking to grow its staff.

Andrea Gage is a behavioral health emergency services clinician. She's part of the Milwaukee County Mobile Crisis team. "Each day is different. One of the responsibilities that we have is answering our crisis line, and so when calls come into the crisis line, we will take the information. We'll speak with the person on the other end of the line and figure out how we can best help," said Gage.

The team serves people of all ages, and sometimes the best way to help means getting out of the call center.

"We actually go into the community and work with people who are experiencing any level of a mental health crisis, and we provide on the spot assistance, and we also provide follow-up services," said Gage.

When a crisis call requires a little more attention...a mobile team of two will go out and meet with the person. Typically, that's a clinician and a registered nurse on the team. Because of the work they do, officials say less adults are being admitted for inpatient psychiatric crisis services and emergency detention visits. "I thoroughly enjoy meeting with people in their natural environment. I think that gives us a lot more information about what their daily lives look like," said Gage.

Hannah Lang is the crisis service coordinator. "It's very rewarding work because we're able to go out and be with people in that moment of crisis," she said about the team.

Recruitment efforts are underway to hire six more mobile crisis clinicians. "One of our goals is just to be available more to the community, to be able to have more team members available to go out and meet with people," said Lang.

Lang says they're looking for people who are eager to be out in the community. "They're passionate about this type of work, they're excited, and also creative," she said. Gage says increasing the team will help them make an even bigger impact. "The more staff that we have, the more teams that we have...the more mobiles that we can take on," she said.

The mobile crisis line is available 24 hours a day at 414-257-7222.

Anyone interested and qualified in joining the team can click here.

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