A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A monthly newsletter from Integral Care.
A Message From Our CEO
Recent acts of violence profoundly impacted our community, as package bombs killed two individuals and wounded several others during the month of March. The traumatic events spread fear and distress throughout our community. Studies show that this kind of continuous trauma, spread out over weeks, can have a substantial effect on emotional health, different than the impact of a one-time disaster. When traumatic incidents occur, emotional support is paramount – for healing and our overall health and well-being. As the local mental health authority, Integral Care is dedicated to providing support during and after tragic events such as this.
Acts of terrorism or any disaster cause any number of natural emotional responses, including fear, shock, helplessness, anger and grief. Victims of events like this are not the only individuals directly affected. Rather, there is a ripple effect – family members, friends, neighbors and the community at large grieves, experiences anxiety, and possibly post-traumatic stress. The images and stories arising from media coverage or social media posts about the events can compound the stress for some of us.
Our Mobile Crisis Outreach Team and school-based therapists came together to deliver a coordinated response for students at East Austin College Prep, where Draylen Mason, the first bombing victim was a high school senior. Integral Care was part of a network that joined together to offer support and counseling to students, including the Austin Center for Grief and Loss, The Christi Center as well as the Austin Police Department Victim Services. Beyond East Austin College Prep, our 24/7 Crisis Helpline provided support to a 30% higher-than-usual volume of callers during the week of March 18th.
For individuals affected by last month’s events, we encourage you to seek support. Call our 24/7 Helpline any time, day or night. Our walk-in urgent care mental health clinic for adults and children, Psychiatric Emergency Services is open 7 days a week. If you are looking for tools and resources to help others, enroll in a 1-day Mental Health First Aid training.
If you are find yourself wondering about signs and symptoms of anxiety, the effects of different types of stress on your health or how to know when it’s time to get help for you or someone you know, consider checking out these online resources – the Anxiety and Depression Association of America or the Child Traumatic Stress Network.
As Mayor Adler expressed to the Austin community, “We have got to look out for each other.” Let us now direct our focus on healing, and make sure that our neighbors have the support and services they need after tragedies like this.
Chief Executive Officer
Mobile Crisis Outreach Team
Integral Care’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to people in crisis, wherever they are – at home, at school, on the street. The team of medical and mental health professionals can be dispatched by our Helpline or by 911 at the request of first responders. MCOT team members were stationed at East Austin College Prep for 2 weeks to bolster emotional support services.
Integral Care provides on-campus counseling in the Austin, Pflugerville, Manor and Del Valle Independent School Districts for children, youth and their families. We have 24 therapists available year-round at 48 elementary, middle and high school campuses.
Following the tragic death of Draylen Mason, a beloved senior at East Austin College Prep,therapists assisted grieving and anxious students. Across the community, our on-campus therapists help students navigate a world that may feel increasingly unsafe.
24/7 Crisis Helpline
Integral Care’s 24/7 Crisis Helpline provides around the clock crisis support. Crisis callers speak with qualified mental health professionals any time of day or night, 365 days a year. It is also a single point of access for all of our programs and services. This 6-minute video shows our incredible Helpline staff in action and features some of the clients they’ve helped. It’s an emotional portrait that’s worth watching.
During the continuous trauma of March, call volume went up 30%. We added extra staff and leadership even jumped into the queue to ensure callers were helped. Wherever you are, whatever anxiety or trauma you may be coping with, the Integral Care 24/7 Crisis Helpline is here for you.
March: Stopping the cycle of incarceration for individuals with mental illness
February : Equity in mental healthcare for everyone
January : Improving Mental Health Through Partnership & Collaboration
December : Strength Through Community
November : Healthy Lifestyles Improve Well-Being
October : National Child Health Day
September : Strengthening Families and Communities