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Mental Health Crisis Teams Push Past Hurdles to Support Rural Areas, Prevent Disaster

While crisis response teams have been slower to catch on in rural America, partly because those areas have fewer mental health professionals to cover much larger jurisdictions, nationally the approach is slowly but surely making inroads to these hard-to-reach areas, report Tony Leys and Arielle Zionts for NBC News.

Virtual Crisis Care, one program out of South Dakota, has police work as virtual middlemen on iPads to arrange video chats between people in crisis and telehealth counselors. Although it isn’t the ideal, Hannah Wesolowski, chief advocacy officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, told NBC, it’s better than police trying to handle those situations on their own.

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