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Children's mental health crisis assessment services available to families

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news Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

A new program launched by Stevens County Human Services and funded by a grant from the Department of Human Services has begun providing crisis mental health assessment and referral services for children and families in Stevens, Pope, Douglas, Grant and Traverse counties.

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The program, designed to address the needs of families with children younger than age 18 who experience mental health symptoms, is a free service involving partnerships between social service agencies, law enforcement, and the crisis response team.

At the request of a partnering agency, a mental health practitioner may respond to the home of the family requesting services, or another appropriate location, to conduct an assessment of the child's condition and needs and work with the parents to determine appropriate referrals and services that may be needed.

The team is on-call Monday through Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and the team is available weekends and holidays from 1 to 11 p.m. A licensed children's mental health professional supervises the on-sight staff and helps determine the child's level of need. After an assessment of needs is made, recommendations of available and appropriate community services will be made to the family for their consideration.

The program, accessible through local law enforcement or social services, is completely free and entirely voluntary. This grassroots program is staffed by individuals who are on-call part time but also employed full-time in a variety of vocations: education, social services, counseling, psychology, and health care.

For general questions or comments about this program, contact Stevens County Social Services Director Joanie Murphy at (320) 589-7400. For specific questions regarding program access, contact your local social services agency.

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