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Dec 18, 2012 7:31 PM by Nathan O'Neal

In wake of Connecticut shootings, Tucson center talks mental health help

TUCSON - The tragic shooting in Connecticut that shook the country last week has shifted the conversation to issues surrounding mental health.

One center is Tucson is already working to provide mental health services to anyone in need throughout Pima County.

The Crisis Response Center was approved by voters in 2006 and has since provided a 24/7 emergency mental health team free to the people of Tucson and Pima County.

As tragic images of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting flood the internet and airwaves, they are all too familiar for Tucsonans who are reminded of the community in mourning after a mass shooting.

"It's important for our community members to know when they're feeling those same sorts of feelings that they experienced in January 2011, to know that they can get help," said Vanessa Seaney of the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona.

Those are the types of calls the Crisis Response Center has received following Friday's shootings.

However, the urgent care for mental health also takes in more than 500 crisis calls a month, connecting people in need of mental health services with experts.

Kendra Killgore, the director of business operations at the CRC said the 24/7 staff is skilled to deal with any situation.

"And know whether somebody can be resolved during that phone call or whether we need to elevate to maybe dispatch a mobile crisis team, potentially involve law enforcement, or if they can connect the person to come here for services," Killgore told News 4 Tucson.

All this, Seaney said, is an effort to help meet the need for mental health.

"It's critically important to know that there is help. That it's okay to seek help and not have stigma related to help...because that's how we can really make a difference," Seaney said.

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See here more information about mental health services in Pima County:

Community Partnership of Southern Arizona offers no-cost resources for support and information in dealing with feelings brought up by the Connecticut school shooting. They are:

*Tragedy Support Line: (520) 284-3517 or 1-800-796-6762, available at no cost 24/7 for support and information, including how to talk with children about tragedy.

*Community-Wide Crisis Response Line: (520) 622-6000 or 1-800-796-6762, available at no cost 24/7

Anyone in Pima County needing crisis help for overwhelming feelings can walk into:

*Crisis Response Center, 2802 E. District St., south of Ajo Way and Country Club. Available 24/7 for crisis services to chidren and adults.

*SAMHC, 2502 N. Dodge Blvd. (entrance from Flower Street), available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for crisis services for children and adults.

Links to other information can be found on CPSA's website, www.cpsa-rbha.org.

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