Riverside County Mobile Crisis Response Teams Now Offer Services 24/7

Tiani Jadulang

Riverside University Health System is now offering behavioral health services to all residents across the county, 24 hours a day seven days a week.

These mobile crisis response teams offer services to anyone, anywhere, anytime, helping residents with anything from behavioral health issues to substance abuse issues.

“These are teams comprised of behavioral health staff who have been specially trained in crisis intervention, and they can be requested to come out to support somebody who’s having a behavioral health or substance use crisis.” Kristin Miller, a Behavioral Health Service Administrator for Riverside County says.

These mobile crisis response teams have provided services to those here in Riverside County for the past ten years, this new update is just an expansion of those services, to all hours of the day.

“The focus is to help folks stay safe in the community and not need law enforcement intervention, and hopefully not need a higher level of care intervention like a hospitalization.” Miller adds.

The team is made up of several different health experts, providing intervention, offering to call family or friends, connecting those in crisis to outpatient services, or potentially taking individuals to an urgent care.

Experts add that a crisis can mean something different to everyone and they take all calls.

“It could be someone who’s having some suicidal ideation, or someone who’s having some severe behavioral health symptoms. Or it could be a kiddo who got a bad grade on a test at school and is really struggling with that. We want to respond to folks who shouldn’t have to wait.” Miller says.

With just one call to the county’s help line, neighbors can receive assistance.

Locally, law enforcement has teamed up with Riverside County to help provide preventative services to schools and behavioral health services to unhoused neighbors.

“It assists now with having the services meaning, the purpose, the purpose of them helping us not just our officers that are assigned to work with the unsheltered, which is a three member team with a therapist from Riverside County. It also assists the rest of the officers that do the calls for service that you see patrolling.” Indio Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Benjamin Guitron says. 

Indio Police Department adds that these new services help those during a mental health crisis that may not qualify for an immediate evaluation, but require urgent assistance.

“I think it’s always a need. With services like this, it just enhances our ability, especially now that we’ll be able to access their assistance in the evenings and at night.” Guitron adds.

The county has five specialty vans that they use throughout the region, two specifically here in the Coachella Valley, hoping to lower the amount of individuals dealing with any sort of stress, no matter the crisis.

All neighbors have to do is call 951- 686 – HELP,  at any hour of the day.

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