HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A new program through BayCare hopes to help students in Pasco and Hernando counties in times of crisis.

  • Mobile Response Team hope to decrease hospitalizations, Baker Act situations
  • Schools or law enforcement can utilize program
  • Want more information? Visit baycare.org
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BayCare's Mobile Response Team, a partnership with law enforcement and school boards in both counties, was created in February as another resource for students in times of an emotional or behavioral crisis.

“That may be a youth who is feeling suicidal or having peer or family conflict,” said Sarah Shirina, Licensed Program Coordinator for the Mobile Response Team.

Schools or law enforcement can reach out to the Mobile Response Team and they can assist over the phone or go to the students' location 

“The goal of the program is to help decrease hospitalizations and be able to divert from a Baker Act situation,” Shirina said. 

“We understand that a Baker Act situation with youth can be very traumatizing and can cause in some situations more trauma for that youth,” she added. 

This partnership is part of the Hernando County School District’s mental health plan they established as part of SB 7026. 

“Typically they would be referred to a guidance counselor or school social worker so it’s an extra resource that that person can use as maybe a second opinion get triage on the phone to see what is the next course of action,” said Sandura Hurst, Hernando Co. School District’s Mental Health Coordinator.

Program administrators want parents to be involved in their efforts, too.

“If possible, we would prefer the parent to be at the school when we get there so we can help link that parent to services,” Shirina explained. 

You can find out more information about the Mobile Response Team's services through BayCare’s Behavioral Health Department online or by calling 1-866-762-1743.