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Abilene BAT Better Serving Mental Health Emergencies

Post Date:01/30/2019 3:35 PM

A collaboration of stakeholders from across Abilene and Taylor County has formed the region’s first Behavioral Advisory Team, or BAT, working to better serve mental health patients in our area. The work of BAT is to reduce the number of people in need of mental health support who instead often times find themselves caught up in our legal system, or behind bars.

Through the work of BAT, Abilene dispatchers are now able to connect qualified 9-1-1 calls directly over to a trained mental health clinician on call at the Betty Hardwick Center. Previously, dispatch’s only option would be to send law enforcement to the scene of a
potential mental health crisis, at times leaving those officers or deputies no choice but to detain, arrest, or book into jail individuals better served through appropriate mental health care.

Abilene’s BAT will be meeting Friday, February 1, at Hendrick Hospice Care Center, 1651 Pine Street, to share its work with leaders from across our community. Media is invited to join the BAT at 10:30 a.m. in the Davis Bereavement Center, Room B, for interview opportunities, and a closer look at how this new collaboration will better serve the mental health needs of our entire community. Please enter the Hospice Center through the Davis Bereavement Center doors (facing N. 16 th St.).

BAT representatives ready to speak with media include Norm Archibald of Hendrick Health System, Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop, Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge, Abilene Fire Chief Cande Flores, and Theron Cole of the Betty Hardwick Center.

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