Crisis calls continue to climb in county
“The number of calls we have received throughout the county in the last few years has more than doubled,” said Jen Meyer to members of the Taylor County Human Services Board on May 11 during a presentation on the importance of keeping up to date on crisis intervention training.
Being that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Meyer felt certain aspects of the training should be reviewed by the board. Meyer covered the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how, these crisis services are used.
A crisis is defined as any situation/ temporary state in which an individual perceives a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem solving and coping skills.
Within that definition of crisis, there are three categories:
• Developmental/internal-a crisis during a transitional period in normal growth and development.
• Situational/external-a crisis (response) to a sudden unavoidable traumatic event that largely affects a person’s identity and roles.
• Adventitious/social crisis-an accidental crisis which is unanticipated and results in multiple enviornmental changes.
Human services director Suzanne Stanfley is among those in the department who are trained to provide crisis intervention. The staff at the Human Services Department are available 24/7 for any type of crisis including holidays.
During the presentation, Meyer identifi ed the individuals who are most likely at risk for a crisis including: Individuals with a family member of a previous suicide attempt; Individuals with a mental health diagnosis; Adolescents; Elderly individuals; and Disabled or terminally ill individuals.
A crisis intervention is performed to give individuals methods/steps used to offer short-term help. The goal of the crisis intervention is to decrease emotional stress and protect the individual from additional stress as well as assisting the individual to return to a level of functioning that was present before the crisis.
If the individual has to be detained for emergency purposes for any amount of time, the cost is substantial to the county. In 2021 there were 422 crisis calls made throughout Taylor County with 381 of those calls being taken care of by a crisis case worker.
In other business:
• Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Northwoods, have met with their new employees. Taylor County is giving the ADRC $40,000 to fund a parttime Dementia Care Specialist. Forest county has hired someone Taylor County has not.
• The board approved a birth to 3 part-time employee for 7 weeks while the current employee is on maternity leave.
• The grievance form has been updated for employees of the building.
• Mike Bub made a suggestion to take 20 minutes at a county board meeting to discuss how much the crisis intervention department is needed. “The last slide of the statistics that you showed us, would be very beneficial to let the council know what is really happening in this community,” Bub said.