IU Health awards grant to Fishers Fire Dept. for behavioral health services

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The Fishers Fire Dept. was one of six recipients of an IU Health Foundation grant and recently received $43,680 to fund a paramedicine behavioral response program.

The program, which started in January, will be funded for one year through the grant. The program expands the City of Fishers’ paramedicine program in a way which allows the FFD to provide follow-up and support services for mental health patients. The program allows specially trained paramedics to act as patient advocates and navigators for patients experiencing a mental health issue. If a patient needs non-emergency assistance, he or she can call the on-duty paramedic instead of 911.

IU Health North Suburban Area President Alicia Schulhof said although the program may not reduce the overall number of mental health emergency calls the FFD fields each year, the program will provide continuous support to those who need it.

“It is really to provide more continuous support and collaborative care between the Fishers Fire Dept. and Emergency Medical Services,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s intended to decrease the calls, but it’s to provide more wrap-around support and care.”

Schulhof said the FFD initiative is a pilot program and that IU Health will evaluate every six months.

“We look forward to seeing the outcomes and evaluate how to continue forward,” she said. “This fits very well in coordination with the initiative of behavioral health and mental health services.”

For more, visit iuhealthfoundation.org.

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