City of St. Petersburg prioritizes mental health year-round – for St. Pete residents and city staff

As the topic of mental health continues to be a priority and discussed nationally, the City of St. Petersburg has created accessible resources and programs for its residents and team members to ensure that they feel supported and seen. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we have compiled resources available to residents and the municipal team.

For residents:

Keep health in mind
It is a known fact that physical exercise has a positive impact on your mental health. Exercise can reduce stress, increase steam, improve sleep, and improve brain health.

The City of St. Petersburg’s Healthy St. Pete Program focuses on creating 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 more – visit: https://www.healthystpetefl.com/.

The CALL program
Instead of dispatching police to non-violent and/or non-emergency mental health-related calls, the City is deploying social workers — with specific expertise — to the situation to help and support. Since the program’s inception on February 2, 2021, CALL has served over 2,500 customers. The program started as a pilot program, and has now started a two-year contact due to its good results.

Here are the statistics:

  • CALL has made over 2,100 contacts in the community
  • No incidents of injury or violence have occurred
  • Less than 4% of CALL’s field responses required law enforcement assistance.
  • CALL’s 24/7 number has been provided over 1,000 times for citizens to use as a resource instead of calling the police for non-emergency needs

Funding for our partners
The Veterans, Homelessness and Social Services Division works with community partners to provide funding to a multitude of non-profit organizations that serve individuals and families who are homeless or at the verge of homelessness. become. Some of the clients they serve have a mental health diagnosis.

Below is a list of resources to share or refer to for help:

  • Directions for Living – https://directionsforliving.org/
  • Boley Centers, Inc. – https://boleycenters.org/
  • Saint Vincent de Paul – https://www.svdpsp.org/
  • Catholic Charities – https://www.ccdosp.org/

General support
211 Tampa Bay is a great community resource to share with family members or friends who are struggling to find the best fit for what they are looking for: https://211tampabay.org/mental-health/

For our municipal team

For all municipal staff:

The City of St. Petersburg has a non-emergency line that employees can call if they are in distress or are experiencing a mental health episode or moment of distress. This number is monitored 24/7 by city staff who are trained to work with mental health cases and situations.

For the Public Safety Team:

St. Pete Fire and Rescue Services and St. Pete Police Department offer a number of programs to help their team and families with mental health issues and personal stress.

  • They have a contract with a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in behavioral health and first responder wellness. Officers and employees can schedule sessions with her at her office. It also offers training and thematic videos.
  • Their Critical Incident Stress Management team is a comprehensive, integrated, systematic and multi-faceted crisis response approach to managing critical incident stress after traumatic events. CISM is a coordinated program of tactics, used to minimize reactions to traumatic experiences through the use of defusing, debriefings and/or demobilizations.
  • The PEER support team provides individual crisis management by peers. Peer support is an intervention designed to alleviate symptoms of stress, whether attributed to a single event or ongoing experiences. Peer support team members can reach out to employees following a traumatic/critical incident or serve as an available resource when voluntarily contacted by an employee in need.
  • The chaplaincy program provides emotional and spiritual support to employees and their respective families, and assists the agency with victims and families of victims as needed.

Mental health is a critical part of moving this St. Pete forward – both for our city staff and for our residents. If you know someone who needs to read this or need help today, please share or connect them to the resources they need. We are all in the same boat. We are St. Pete.