Child and Adolescent Network Provides Crisis Line and In-Person Intervention

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Looking Glass is a proud founding member of the Child and Adolescent Network (CAN). Over decades of experience hosting a 24-hour crisis line for parents and children in Lane County, starting in 2005 the need for non-police crisis intervention became apparent. Working with Jasper Mountain and The Child Center, we expanded the 24/7 Crisis Line (1-888-989-9990) to become the Crisis Response Program (CRP) that combines the crisis line with in-person interventions when necessary.

Over the phone CRP professionals are able to help with de-escalation, suicide risk assessments, safety planning, parent coaching, respite care, county-wide service recommendations, and follow-ups for children and families experiencing a crisis. From 2013 to-date, the Crisis Line has never received less than 1,000 calls in a year.

“The community has had over 13,000 families helped through the crisis response [program], “ explained Erin Littleberry, Crisis Response Program Coordinator with Jasper Mountain SAFE Center. “We offer an alternative to police contact and hospital stays and provide resources to families who otherwise have none or are needing more.”

Aaron Porter, a therapist with Looking Glass Counseling Program, is a Crisis Team member. He works the phone line and conducts in-home interventions.

“Parents call deeply concerned, they have a kid that is screaming at them, breaking things, and sometimes hitting their family” Aaron said. “I ask what’s going on, then I talk to the kiddo that’s having the crisis. I let them know I’m here to help and listen to what they are upset about. These kids often can calm down over the phone with a third party listening to them and helping them figure out how to be safe.”

Sometimes the situation can’t be made safe and a Crisis Response Team with a trained pair of mental health professionals, can intervene in a family crisis to provide immediate care and support for a struggling family. Aaron explained how the in-home interventions help show the seriousness of the child’s behavior: “A lot of times these kids just don’t know how to ask for what they need. These families are dealing with trauma and limited resources which can break down safe means of communication. By just being there and mentioning that we can take them to a respite stay, they begin to see that their unsafe behavior can have consequences and they begin to change.” The team can assess if a 72-hour respite stay would be helpful, taking a child to any of the available beds at Jasper Mountains SAFE Center or Looking Glass residential programs.

The Crisis Response Team also includes 24/7 available bilingual team members, so all members of our community can be supported. The collaboration between Jasper Mountain, The Child Center, and Looking Glass allows for full coverage of Lane County, with each agency handling a different area and age range for in-person interventions. Sharma Fellows-Rapoport, the Crisis Response Program Director with The Child Center stated “The collaboration of the three agencies, with their respective cultures and services offered, helps to provide an array of services to kids and families in crisis and to better serve the needs of the community.”

The dispatch for the crisis teams is rotated monthly between CAN organizations to ease the 24/7 staffing requirement.

Speaking to the success he’s had with in-home interventions, Aaron said “One of the cool things about this work is the immediate impact, you can see the change right away.”