Ballwin police using tablets, FaceTime technology to provide mental health care on calls

BALLWIN, Mo. - From smartphones to state-of-the-art devices, technology is now being used for many lifestyle conveniences. The Ballwin Police Department is taking that approach with iPads to help save lives.

Behavioral Health Response provides confidential telephone counseling to people in mental health crisis as well as mobile outreach services, community referral services, and critical incident stress management.  BHR’s crisis hotline and mobile outreach services are provided free of charge to the public by paid professional staff who have a master’s degree in their respective behavioral science discipline.

Established in 1994, Behavioral Health Response is a private nonprofit corporation, the hub for an Access Crisis Intervention (ACI) system, which provides 24-hour access to mental health services to residents of the city of St. Louis and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Warren, Iron, St. Francois, and Washington.

The need to improve mental health resources prompted the Ballwin Police Department and other agencies in St. Louis County to partner with Behavioral Health Response and it's iPad project. Once an officer arrives on the scene, it allows people to receive help with a crisis or concern through Facetime on an iPad, so the person in need receives help.

The Ballwin Police Department used the iPad numerous times since they got the technology two years ago, most recently saving a man's life coping with suicidal thoughts.

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