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Baltimore County News

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Date: Oct 12, 2018

Free Event Open to the Public 

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler invites the public to a celebration to kick off the County’s participation in the “United We Fight. United We Win” campaign of the United Way of Central Maryland.

FallFest 2018 will be held on Friday, October 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Historic Courthouse gardens along Washington Avenue in downtown Towson. The event will feature scarecrow-making, games and contests, food trucks, vendors, a silent auction, kittens available for adoption, music and more. The event is being held rain or shine.

Keywords: fallfest, united way

Mobile Crisis Team Will be Available 24/7

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced plans to significantly expand the County’s emergency mental health system by funding overnight hours for the Mobile Crisis Team that responds to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, including those addicted to opioids.

The Baltimore County Crisis Response System, a collaborative effort between the County’s Health and Police Departments, works with The Affiliated Sante’ Group, Inc. to provide emergency mental health services to Baltimore County residents. The Mobile Crisis Team is currently available from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily. The increased funding of $561,000, contingent on County Council approval, will bring the Mobile Crisis Team budget to $2.6 million and will help expand their services to 24 hours per day.

“Our Mobile Crisis Team provides a vital service to people in their most vulnerable moments; by pairing a mental health clinician with a police officer, they are able to respond in a way that deescalates situations, protecting both the individual and overall public safety,” Mohler said. “If approved by the Council, we will ensure that County residents who need these services throughout the night will now have access to them.”

“The increase in funding will mean an expansion in service hours, and having these services available around the clock is priceless,” said Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch.

The Mobile Crisis Team responds to severe behavioral health emergencies in the community, with the goals of diverting residents from unnecessary hospitalizations and/or entry into the criminal justice system, and reducing the number of emergency petitions. The team provided 2,343 interventions to County residents and their families in fiscal year 2018.

“This funding will allow constant coverage throughout the County to provide a resource to patrol officers dealing with those suffering from mental health issues,” said Chief of Police Terrence Sheridan. “Hopefully, this will continue our trend of peacefully resolving incidents involving individuals in crisis.”

“The Mobile Crisis Team has been a tremendous asset to the community and I support the expansion of their availability into the overnight hours, when many incidents take place,” said County Council Chair Julian Jones.

“Mental health crises don’t start in the morning and end at night,” concluded Mohler. “We have to take care of those in need.”

Facilitating Access to Mental Health Care

Another strength of the Mobile Crisis Team is that they help people take full advantage of the dynamic matrix of services in place to link County residents to preventative care options.

For more information on mental health services offered in Baltimore County, call the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-3828. To access emergency mental health services, call the 24-hour Mobile Crisis Team hotline at 410-931-2214.   


Free Flu Shots Saturday, October 13

by Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE, FACP, Director, Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services

The quote most often attributed to Ben Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” continues to ring true – especially as it relates to flu vaccinations. The Baltimore County Department of Health is working to lessen the impact of the 2018-2019 flu season by providing free flu shots Saturday, October 13, 2018.

This very important vaccination can help safeguard you and your loved ones against the flu. We recommend that persons six months and older get it as early as possible. The free vaccination will be given at seven locations throughout the county from 9:00 a.m. until noon on Saturday. No appointment is necessary.

Preventing the flu should be everyone’s goal, and the best way to do that is know the flu FACTS.

Frequently wash your hands.

Washing hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds is the best form of protection to reduce the spread of germs. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always get an annual flu shot.

Flu viruses are constantly changing. Last season’s flu vaccine may not protect against newer viruses, and an annual vaccination is the only way to maintain protection each season.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.     

Use a tissue to cover your coughs and sneezes; then throw it away.  If you do not have a tissue, cough and sneeze into the crease of your arm (elbow area) to prevent your droplets from spreading. Never cough or sneeze into your hands.

Take time off from school, work, and social activities if you have symptoms.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse.

If your condition does not improve after taking over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms, call you doctor.

Spread the word (and not the flu). Ask your friends and family to join you at one of seven locations on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. When you and your family are “flu free” this season, you’ll be glad you did.

For more information, go to http://resources.baltimorecountymd.gov/Documents/Health/flyers/flushots.pdf

Keywords: flu, flu shots, health

 
 
Revised September 11, 2017