Crisis services always available

MIFFLINTOWN – Crisis intervention was the topic of conversation at a Tuesday meeting of the Juniata County Commissioners.

Belinda Flasher, of Universal Community Behavioral Health, said Tri-County Mobile Crisis services are available to clients in Mifflin, Juniata and Huntingdon counties who are experiencing crisis.

Flasher said “crisis” is defined by the individual. However, a brochure provided at the meeting added that crisis may include thoughts of harming yourself or others, contemplating suicide, anxiety, relationship troubles, depression and bullying.

In every case, Flasher said, mobile crisis partners try to help clients identify their natural support system and sustain health and wellness before reaching the point of suicidal or homicidal behavior.

Tri-County Mobile Crisis provides service through partnerships with Juniata Valley Behavioral and Developmental Services, The Meadows Psychiatric Center and UCBH.

According to the brochure, services include crisis intervention, crisis counseling, support and coping skills, screening, service coordination, referrals and follow-up.

Melissa Dalancey, also of UCBH, said the agency works in cooperation with Tri-County Mobile Crisis to provide blended case management, outpatient therapy and medical management, behavioral health rehabilitation services and family-based mental health services.

Flasher called intervention services a “safety net” through which local individuals may reach out for help either by phone or face-to-face contact.

“Everyone is involved in resolution,” she said, explaining that services are meant to aid clients before they reach the “point of no return.”

The agency also provides debriefing and grief counseling after traumatic events take place in the community. Flasher said staff are available to visit schools or other places of business when counseling is needed.

Mobile Crisis Intervention is a confidential, free service, according to the brochure. Services are available by phone at any time by calling (800) 929-9583.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners:

Approved a request for liquid fuel funds for Mifflin Borough in the amount of $1,504.69.

Approved the reappointment of Michael Hain to the South Central Workforce Investment Board to serve a term expiring on Sept. 30, 2016. Hain’s current term expires on Monday.

Approved the county’s annual letter of commitment to the Economic Development Administration activities of SEDA-Council of Governments.

Hired Benjamin C. Koch as part-time deputy sheriff to replace Deputy Gerald Eaton, who could potentially retire on Jan. 3, 2014. The position is classified as “part-time” at less than 1,000 hours per year and does not qualify for membership in the county’s retirement fund. Sheriff H. Thomas Lyter requested a starting date for October 2013.

Ratified Juniata County Hazardous Materials check No. 1,166 in the amount of $54.09 to Wex Bank for fuel and No. 1,167 in the amount of $188.35 to L/B Water Service Inc. for trailer parts.

Accepted the Hazardous Material Emergency Response Fund Grant Agreement for state fiscal year 2013-2014, submitted by Emergency Services Director Allen Weaver. Commissioner Jeffrey Zimmerman said the grant totals $9,727. The initial grant application was approved during official action on April 16.

Approved an addendum to the facility study agreement submitted by J-Way Architectural. The additional service cost outlined in the addendum is $2,500. Commissioner Teresa O’Neal said the addendum allowed continued work on the facility study, which is set to improve safety, efficiencies and basic customer service far into the future.

Approved checks Nos. 38,431 through 38,484 in the amount of $147,905.60.