MESA, Ariz. — Mesa residents concerned about a friend or loved one who may have behavioral health issues have a new place to turn.
The Mesa Fire and Medical Department has set up a 24-hour hotline for people to call and talk about their concerns.
The Prevention Action Line is a cooperative effort with the Crisis Response Network and Crisis Preparation and Recovery. The goal is to provide a comprehensive response to support the caller’s need to help someone who has behavioral health issues. Operators are trained to answer callers’ questions, refer them to an agency or arrange a one-on-one meeting with counselors. Police and fire crews can be sent to a residence if it appears that the situation is an emergency.
Last year, the Mesa Fire and Medical Department responded to over 5,000 calls involving a behavioral health issue, which was about 10 percent of all calls to 911.
“We felt like there were probably people that need help, that need community resources but don’t know where to go,” said Mesa Fire Capt. Kim Hackbarth. “So that’s what the Prevention Action Line was designed and set up for.”
Hackbarth said that many times friends and family members may be able to help their loved ones before it gets to the point where that person does something violent.
“The family and the closest friends are the ones that have the first insight to seeing some behavior that seems a little off with their loved one,” she said.
There may be several signs that someone may have an issue that could develop into a serious problem. They could have a drastic change in their mood or behavior, such as talking about death. There could also be dramatic sleep and appetite changes or deterioration in their personal hygiene, just to name a few.
The hotline has been operating since Aug. 1. Travis Anderson, of the Crisis Response Network, is one person who has been manning the lines and remembers one particular call he received.
“A woman was concerned with her adult son who had some issues and needed a little guidance, and we were able to help out with that,” Anderson said.
He doesn’t know whether the man’s problem could have resulted in a shooting situation like at Columbine High School or the theater shooting in Colorado but he believes the son talked about that.
“There was maybe some verbal abuse, but was there actual aggression? I don’t know,” he said.
To reach the Prevention Action Hotline, call 480-644-5457.
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier