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New Youth Mobile Crisis Coordinator to help students in Iowa City area battling mental health issues

The Youth Mobile Crisis Coordinator will respond to crisis situations with students IN the IOWA CITY AND CLEAR CREEK-AMANA DISTRICTS.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank in Iowa City is adding a new position to help work with mental health issues in children.

The Youth Mobile Crisis Coordinator will respond to crisis situations with students in Iowa City, and Clear-Creek Amana school districts.

Parth Patel started the position in January. He has more than five years of experience working with people battling mental health issues. He’s seen an increase during the pandemic, especially in children.

“Difficulty managing depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms,” explained Patel. “Some suicidal thoughts as well.”

Patel will work in the Guidelink Center in Iowa City and will be able to respond, in person, to a crisis at either district in under 30 minutes.

“That way I’ll also be able to support the staff that’s working at these schools too that are overwhelmed with the amount of mental health issues they’re seeing in their students,” said Patel. “So yes, of course I’m’ going to be supporting youth, but I think another outcome will be the school staff will feel like they’re being supported as well.”

This service will be helpful for situations where leaders at CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank say better suits a counselor instead of a police officer.

“I think everybody most of the time is in agreement about the fact that we want the folks who can help the best in front of the situations that are needing that kind of help,” said Jacob Story, Mobile Crisis Manager.

Patel just started the position, and hasn’t taken to any calls yet since schools were on winter break but say he looks forward to offering this path to help students “It’s just really rewarding,” he said. “You know working with the youth in our community.”

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