Mobile Crisis Team Response Makes a Difference

Posted on: December 8, 2021 | Categories: inspired, mental health crisis services | Featured in the December 2021 issue of Inspired

Suicidal and ready to jump off a Chicago bridge, a man called Lutheran Social Services of Illinois’ (LSSI’s) Mobile Crisis Line. The crisis worker simultaneously kept the caller on the phone, while another crisis worker called 911and collaborated with the Chicago Police Department to ping the caller’s cell phone and locate the individual. Once found, LSSI staff drove to the bridge and talked with the man. Afterward, he agreed to be hospitalized for treatment.

Such dramatic encounters are all in a day’s work for LSSI’s Mobile Crisis Team, which responds 24/7 to children, adolescents, and adults in serious crisis on Chicago’s northwest side. LSSI began providing Mobile Crisis Services for children in 2004 and added services for adults in 2018. Last year, these services helped 1,126 children and adults.

“In those first few moments when people call mobile crisis, it’s critical that we establish that they’re safe,” said Tanya Puente, clinical supervisor. Each call is always different, and in the case of the man at the bridge, multitasking for further support is often required. Calls can also come from a parent looking for help for their child in crisis or even a concerned community member.

The Mobile Crisis Team consists of crisis professionals who provide services to people in their homes and communities, stabilizing them in a familiar environment. Mobile Crisis staff is deployed through LSSI Connect—833.610.5774. The program is designed to serve individuals who would otherwise go to the emergency room, who are unable to access services available, or do not know how to access  behavioral health services.

“We’re a needed support. We’re here to help the community,” Puente said. “Our team is a bridge to help people to the next course in their lives.”

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