Saturday, December 8, 2018

Social workers placed aboard ambulances in Las Vegas

Las Vegas mental health Crisis Response Team sees success with new strategy

By: Joe Bartels
Dec 08, 2018
"We are outperforming expectations by some distance, and I think we are showing a good cost-savings to the state and we're going great care for patients," said Asst. Fire Chief Jon Stevenson with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There is a small crisis response team that is making a big impact when it comes to the emerging mental health crisis across Las Vegas.

"It can be tense," said Amanda Jurden, a licensed clinical social worker.
"Usually, we just try and talk to the person, kind of gauge where they're at, find out, number 1, are they open to talking to you, are they going to be voluntary patient?" explained Jurden.

Jurden is now on the front lines of the Crisis Response Team and rides aboard an ambulance to make an on-scene patient assessment during a mental health crisis incident.

"They can be angry, they can be agitated, they can be under the influence, all of those things," said Jurden.

"But at the end of the day we just want to see if they are willing to engage with us, and cooperate in some form or fashion," said Jurden.

The Crisis Response Team was organized in April 2018 with the goal of connecting those in mental distress with available resources while reducing the burden on local emergency rooms.
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