Built in the wake of the January 8th shootings in Tucson, the Crisis Response Center is currently receiving about 10,000 phone calls a month, that compared to about 3,000 calls a month at this time two years ago.
"So our center is approximately 70 thousand square feet and on any given day we'll have somewhere in or around 50 people in and out for a 24/7 period."
Robin Trush is talking about Pima County's Crisis Response Center: a massive, one-stop resource center located on the University of Arizona Medical Center South campus and dedicated to helping anyone in our community in crisis.
"Even within the first few months of opening our doors we had to expand the number of chairs, if you will, that allow us to serve people because of the numbers of people coming into our doors that we didn't even anticipate," Trush said.
That is, around 1,100 people every month (both adults and minors) who physically come to the Center for emergency behavioral health services.
Not to mention some 10,000 phone calls a month to the Center's 24/7 emergency hotline.
"It could be substance abuse problems, it could be someone concerned about someone in the community, family member, a neighbor," says call center supervisor Eliel Chavez.
Bottom line, the Crisis Response Center is working -- it's helping more people than you might think.
Here in Tucson, January 8th, 2011 is what immediately comes to mind when we discuss mental health issues and why people need to seek help.
But with every national tragedy it's almost like re-opening a wound for the mentally ill.
Such was the case in the demand for services after last month's shooting in Connecticut.
"Where it can even trigger people to feel that trauma ... that maybe happened amongst our community two years ago," Trush says.
If you're wondering what sets this center apart, it's the variety and diversity of people who work here.
Some have clinical backgrounds; some have worked for Child Protective Services.
Others just have a wealth of life experience.
"I'm what's called a peer support specialist."
That's Jeff Fogle and he knows what it's like to be at the other end of a crisis line.
He's lived it, struggled through it and come out stronger person because of it.
"First of all, you have to connect with people," Fogle says.
He's also a shining example of how well the center can work if you give it a chance.
"With behavioral health agencies, with friends, with clergy, with whoever in your community is there to help you," Fogle says, providing examples of where he and other people he knows sought help. "I see success stories every day."
The Crisis Response Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's located at 2802 East District on the UAMC South campus.
The community wide crisis hotline is 520-622-6000 or 1-800-796-6762.
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