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Useful steps to managing a potentially dangerous mental health crisis in your home
for Gainesville Florida  .pdf version
from the Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida Articles and Archives   352.336.2888
 If in doubt about your immediate safety or the immediate safety of someone in your home immediately call 911.
Disclaimer: phone numbers and information were correct to the best of our knowledge at time of publication.  Call directory service at 411 if these numbers are wrong or immediately call 911 if it cannot wait that long.
·       Step 1
o   For any suicide attempt in progress, phone 911.
o   For a medical condition that needs medical attention, phone 911.
§  Examples: unconscious, drug overdose, epilepsy, seizures, bleeding from self- injury
o   For a missing mentally ill family member, call Alachua County Sheriff Missing Persons, 955-1818.
·        Step 2
o   If there is no suicide or serious medical condition, and the individual can be safely transported by you in your car to a crisis stabilization unit, first phone one of these units:
o   Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Crisis Stabilization Units (insurance not required):
§  Gainesville: call  352-374-5600 - 4300 SW 13 Street, Gainesville, FL 32614
·       follow instructions for “emergency services”
§  Outside Gainesville: call 800-330-5615
·       follow instructions for “emergency services”
o   Vista Pavilion at Shands (takes private insurance), 4101 NW 89 Blvd, Gainesville FL 32606
§  Main number (352)-265-5497
§  Admissions (352)-265-5481
§  Outpatient (352)-265-5424
Step 3.   If you need assistance in helping the individual to one of the two crisis centers, phone 911.
o   Inform the 911 operator of this:
§  You are requesting an officer to help get this individual help and the individual is currently endangering himself and others.
§  Inform the operator about the current situation and advise the officer whether or not the individual has any firearms or other weapons. 
§  If this is a repeat crisis with a known history of a severe mental illness, it is essential that you tell the officers this fact when they arrive.
§  You can ask the 911 operator to tell the officers to arrive at your house without lights or sirens.
o   You may be able to request a transfer to either crisis center, based whether or not you have insurance. 
o   Please note: if one hospital does not have a bed available, the individual may be transferred to the other crisis center.
o   The individual may react to seeing a police officer approaching, but remember that everyone is there to help.  It is important for you to remain calm and attempt to create a safe environment for everyone involved. 
·       Step 4.
o   Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge.  The more you know about this process, the better. 
o   Inform yourself about the “Baker Act” law. 
o   NAMI North Central Florida Non-emergency General Information at , or email us at , or phone our voicemail at (352)-374-5600 (then extension 8322 ) or long distance 800-330-5615 (then extension 8322 ).
o   For suicide intervention support, call Alachua County Crisis Center Crisis Hotline,(352)-264-6789.
o   Baker Act Public Defender’s office serving 8th Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties). This office will represent a Baker Acted mentally ill person in court at no cost to client.  (352) 338-7370.
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