About six years ago, AMOS asked families what kept them up at night. Parents said they needed services for children in mental health crises.
“Kids were waiting months to see a therapist. They were not getting what they need from a system designed for adults,” said Crystal Loving, of First Unitarian Church. A child in the midst of a mental health crisis would be handcuffed, put in the backseat of a police car, and enter the juvenile justice system rather than get the mental health care that was needed."
Much has been accomplished. In Polk County, local organizing groups lobbied legislators and local officials. They were able to put together a plan that would get clinicians to respond to 9-1-1 calls for children in mental health crisis, get a stabilization center at Easter Seals, and have mobile crisis responders available to go to children in crisis. Parishioners of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Parish in Ankeny were among the community organizers with AMOS, saying their Catholic faith compelled them to seek help for the needy and vulnerable children."
[Photo Credit: Diocese of Des Moines]
Catholic Charities Included in Federal Funds for Children's Mental Healthcare, Diocese of Des Moines [pdf]