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Polk County task force works to prevent suicides, provide better behavioral health care

S-MENTAL TASK FORCE.transfer_frame_1417.jpg
A mental health task force in Polk County aims to reduce suicides and provide better behavioral health care. A crisis guide, with the help of St. Luke's Hospital, has been distributed to law enforcement and community leaders to help them better access care for those in need. The guide is a simple pink sheet with invaluable phone numbers. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A mental health task force in Polk County aims to reduce suicides and provide better behavioral health care.

A crisis guide, with the help of St. Luke's Hospital, has been distributed to law enforcement and community leaders to help them better access care for those in need. The guide is a simple pink sheet with invaluable phone numbers.

"Obviously, mental health issues are a huge tax on law enforcement resources. We have to partner together with St. Luke's to get people the treatment they need," Chief Chris Beddingfield said.

The task force has printed suicide prevention call numbers that are attached to carry-out or delivery food orders.

"If you're in crisis, you're not going to the drug store to get medicine, you're not taking medicine or you can't afford it, but your family still has to eat," Rebecca Brodar, a registered nurse at St. Luke's, said.

St. Luke's hospital has also set aside in its emergency department one safe room where behavioral health patients cannot hurt themselves or someone else.

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