The City of St. Petersburg Prioritizes Mental Health All Year Long
The City of St. Petersburg Prioritizes Mental Health All Year Long - for St. Pete Residents and City Staff
As the topic of mental health continues to be prioritized and discussed nationally - the City of St. Petersburg has created accessible resources and programs for its residents and team members to ensure they feel supported and seen. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month - we compiled resources offered for both residents and the City team.
Keeping Health Top-of-Mind
It's a known fact that physical exercise has a positive impact on your mental health. Exercise can decrease stress, increase self of steam, improve sleep and boost brain health.
The City of St. Petersburg's Healthy St. Pete Program focuses on building a culture of health in St. Pete by making the healthy choice the easy choice. To learn more about how you can participate in programs - ranging from free fitness classes to food programs to educational opportunities and many more - visit: https://www.healthystpetefl.com/.
The CALL Program
Instead of sending police officers to non-violent and/or non-emergency mental health related calls, the City deploys social workers - with specific expertise - to the situation to help and support. Since the program's inception on Feb. 2, 2021, CALL has served more than 2,500 clients. The program began as a pilot program, and has now began a two-year contact due to its successful results.
Here are the stats:
- CALL has made 2,100+ contacts in the community
- No incidents of injuries or violence have occurred
- Less than 4% of CALL’s responses in the field required law enforcement assistance Most common reason for assistance is mental health/suicide threat related calls
- CALL’s 24/7 # was provided more 1,000 times for citizens to use as a resource instead of calling police for non-emergency needs
Funding for our Partners
The Veterans, Homeless and Social Services division works with community partners to provide funding to a multitude of non-profit organizations who serve individuals and families who are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Some of the clients whom they serve have a mental health diagnosis.
- Directions for Living - https://directionsforliving.org/
- Boley Centers, Inc. - https://boleycenters.org/
- St. Vincent de Paul - https://www.svdpsp.org/
- Catholic Charities - https://www.ccdosp.org/
211 Tampa Bay is a great community resource to share with family members or friends that are struggling to find the best fit for what they are looking for: https://211tampabay.org/mental-health/
For our City Team
For All City Staff:
The City of St. Petersburg has a non-emergency line for employees to call if they are in distress or experiencing a mental health episode of moment of distress. This number is monitored 24/7 by City Staff that are trained to work with mental health cases and situations.
For Public Safety Team:
Both St. Pete Fire & Rescue and the St. Pete Police Department have a number of programs to assist their team and families with mental health and personal stress issues.
- They have a contract with a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral health and wellness of First Responders. Officers and employees can schedule sessions with her at her office. She also provides training and topical videos.
- Their Critical Incident Stress Management Team is a comprehensive, integrated, systematic and multi-faceted crisis intervention approach to manage critical incident stress after traumatic events. CISM is a coordinated program of tactics, used to minimize the reactions to traumatic experiences through the use of defusing, debriefings, and/or demobilizations.
- The PEER Support Team provides individual crisis management from peers. Peer Support is an intervention designed to mitigate symptoms of stress, whether attributed to a single event or ongoing experiences. Peer Support Team members may reach out to employees following a traumatic/critical incident or serve as an available resource when voluntarily contacted by an employee in need.
- The Chaplain Program provides emotional and spiritual support to employees and their respective families, and assists the agency with victims and the families of victims when deemed.
Mental health is a critical part of keeping this St. Pete moving forward - both for our City staff and for our residents. If you know someone that needs to read this or needs support today, please share or connect them with the resources they need. We're all in this together. We are St. Pete.