Connecting to Resources
Creating resilience through "warm handoffs"
and connection to concrete support in times of need.
Many times we as serving professionals attempt to connect our parents and families to resources by handing out printed resource guides, giving phone numbers or email addresses and expecting our adults in crisis to do the rest. "Warm Handoffs" are a resilience strategy that both connects families to needed resources and wrap around services, while building their capacity and skill sets to identify and connect with resources on their own. It means providing the initial scaffolding to ensure families get connected to what they need, while modeling the communication skills and behaviors necessary for them to to advocate for help in the future. Here are some easy steps to implementing "warm handoffs."
Assess the needs of the child, parent, adult or family you are working with. Write down their needs and the desired outcome. Be sure to share them with the individual in crisis and ensure they understand the purpose for connecting them to someone else.
Identify a provider that meets their needs. Based on your professional network, knowledge of social service providers, or by using the resource guides below, find the right provider(s) to meet their needs and achieve the desired outcome. If you are unfamiliar with the service provider, check out their website, social media and testimonials when available.
Make a personal introduction between the individual(s) in need and the service provider representative.
If the representative is someone you have a personal relationship with - call them directly with the client present and explain their situation, needs and desired outcomes. Make a personal introduction between the two and allow them to connect.
If you do not have a personal relationship with anyone at the organization/agency - call the number in the directory and model the appropriate method for requesting support. Focus on explaining the client's needs and desired outcomes and asking the right questions to get them to the appropriate staff person.
Clarify next steps. Work with both provider and client to detail next steps, make appointments, make a list of needed documents, when applicable, and ensure the transportation/technology necessary to complete next steps. If the client doesn't have access to transportation or technology needed, work with them to solve those challenges.
Follow up. Make a reminder to follow up with both client and provider after the appointment. Get feedback from the provider on your client's progress and any additional needs or challenges identified in their interactions. Get feedback from the referral to ensure the appropriateness of the referral, their level of satisfaction, and the quality of service.
Remember the goal is to build capacity, increase their ability to secure support in the future and build your rolodex of providers.
The mission of NAMI Georgia is to empower affiliates to create communities where all affected by mental illnesses find hope, help, and acceptance through SUPPORT, EDUCATION and ADVOCACY.
If you know someone in crisis, check out their list of crisis hotlines and community supports.
Text & Chat
Additionally, we are pleased to announce that Georgia’s youth can now access GCAL’s services via text and chat through a new app called My GCAL, which became available for download in late January 2019. Developed by Behavioral Health Link, the app will allow youth to call, text, or chat with GCAL 24/7/365. Help is in your pocket–just a click away. The caring professionals of GCAL are ready to help, and users can choose how they want to reach out.
Access to Crisis Services
For immediate access to routine or crisis services, please call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225. GCAL is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year to help you or someone you care for in a crisis. GCAL professionals will:
Provide telephonic crisis intervention services
Dispatch mobile crisis teams
Assist individuals in finding an open crisis or detox bed across the State
Link individuals with urgent appointment services
HHS Maternal Mental Health Hotline
Moms can call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS and connect with a counselor at no charge.