Helen Ross McNabb Center offers mobile crisis services to childr

Helen Ross McNabb Center offers mobile crisis services to children and youth in Knox and surrounding counties

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The Helen Ross McNabb Center will soon start offering mobile crisis services for children and youth in Knox and four other nearby counties. The Helen Ross McNabb Center will soon start offering mobile crisis services for children and youth in Knox and four other nearby counties.
The children and youth mobile crisis service will be offered by the Helen Ross McNabb Center starting July 1. Four additional full time therapists have been hired to meet the need. The children and youth mobile crisis service will be offered by the Helen Ross McNabb Center starting July 1. Four additional full time therapists have been hired to meet the need.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If a child shows signs of violence or being suicidal, help is a phone call away. The Helen Ross McNabb Center will soon start offering mobile crisis services for children and youth in Knox and four other nearby counties.

This comes as the state takes a regional approach to the way the services are provided. The goal is to be more effective and help more young people.

According to the spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Helen Ross McNabb was awarded the contract after an in-depth review process. The spokesperson says the Helen Ross McNabb Center was highly qualified to be the provider because of the existing youth programs and experience in helping children.

According to the CEO of the Helen Ross McNabb Center, many children and teens in the area will be helped by the service. The CEO says based on studies the mobile crisis service team will evaluate 60 kids a month in crisis.

The children and youth mobile crisis service will be offered by the Helen Ross McNabb Center starting July 1. Four additional full time therapists have been hired to meet the need.

“There are teenagers in our community who are very stressed, very distressed and have thoughts about hurting themselves or hurting other people so at that point in time we want to make sure a mental health professional gets involved,” said Helen Ross McNabb Center CEO and President Jerry Vagnier.

Vagnier says the services were before covered by one provider state wide now the services are divided up by regions. Vagnier says Helen Ross McNabb can now cover the child's initial crisis and offer treatment after.

“We have residential services for kids in the community. We have intensive outpatient services where kids come twice a week for care,” said Vagnier.

Anyone noticing signs of trouble in the life of a child or teen like a parent, teacher or therapist may call for help. If a crisis cannot be handled over the phone a therapist will travel to where the child is.

“You try to determine the next course of action does the child need to go to psychiatric hospital does the child need follow up appointments that can be arranged in a very timely manner,” said Vagnier.

Vagnier says if there is a risk of violence, like a mass shooting, law enforcement may be notified.

“We would then again assess them and determine if indeed that was something they had the means to carry out and if they did, involve all the people who need to be involved to avert that kind of crisis from ever happening,” said Vagnier.

Children and Youth Mobile Crisis Services will be offered 24/7 starting July 1.

According to the spokesperson with the Helen Ross McNabb Center, there is no charge for the care a child receives from the mobile service unit.

The hotline number is 865-539-2409. The services are provided for Blount, Knox, Loudon, Monroe and Sevier counties.

 
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