New hotline improving responses for mental health emergencies in Wood County

New hotline improving responses for mental health emergencies in Wood County

BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Sunday marks two weeks since Wood County unveiled its new approach to handling mental health emergencies.

In the past, the Link in Bowling Green had been the main source for people with mental health issues in Wood County to get help.

But on July 1st a new hotline through UNISON was introduced.

Wood County residents can now call the hotline and receive help in a matter of minutes.

The main difference between the Link and the new hotline is that all of the people responding to the calls are trained professionals.

Police officers will also escort those providing the care to the callers location.

The response time for the hotline is right on par with 911, with the longest thus far being 9 minutes.

Officials stress there are differences between this hotline and 911 services however.

"If you are feeling like you're going to be a threat to yourself or others, if you are contemplating suicide, maybe your family member is concerned about your well-being, that's when they would want to call the crisis service hotline versus 911," said Terra Davenport with NAMI Wood County.

Members of NAMI say research has shown that having a hotline for people to call has been more effective than having a physical location.

"I think that this gives the opportunity for individuals in the moment to realize they're in crisis or they need services and call and talk to someone right away," said Davenport.

The new number for Wood County residents to call is 419-502-4673.

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