New software helps first aiders deal with mental crises

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) – The city of Jacksonville and Onslow County will use new Canadian computer software called HealthIM to help first responders respond more appropriately to mental health crises.

The city and county are striving to stay at the forefront of technological advances by becoming the first in the country to implement the emergency emergency security system for people suffering from mental health and substance abuse crises.

The software enables various county first aid teams to use a data pool to respond to respective calls regarding mental health and substance abuse.

County officials told reporters that many of these dispatch calls are to repeat patients and the data allows for more effective answers.

Onslow County Colonel Chris Thomas explained the intangible things the software provides to first aiders, saying, “They get a chance to build a connection with them. When other officers [not with the city or the county] show up, they do not have that relationship. ”

The program itself helps build a database of individuals so respondents are aware of what topics may be trigger points and respondents can develop strategies to de-escalate situations.

Onslow County 911 Division Manager Ray Silance explained how the software is a better protection tool for both responders and those receiving assistance.

“We are able to do things like this to not only protect our respondents, but to help the citizens on the street that when they need help, we will not just react and arrest you. That we know what you’re dealing with it. Using it HealthIM will tell us how we can talk to you, how we can safely approach you to de-scale you, and it all works better. “

County officials say the implementation of the HealthIM program grew out of concerns about the opioid epidemic.

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