Heidi Bruder, manager of the Sanford Bemidji Mobile Crisis Unit, and Ashlea McMartin, MS, LPCC, licensed clinical counselor with Sanford Bemidji, are presented the title to the decommissioned vehicle by Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel.

BEMIDJI — The Beltrami County Sheriff recently donated a decommissioned sheriff’s office patrol vehicle, a 2013 Ford Explorer, to Sanford Bemidji Behavioral Health’s Mobile Crisis Unit.

“This vehicle was recently taken out of commission, and, rather than being auctioned off, we made the decision to keep the vehicle in service to the community through the mobile crisis unit,” said Ernie Beitel, Beltrami County Sheriff. “This donation is one small step toward our organizations’ joint goal of promoting mental health treatment and mitigating community members in need of treatment from being placed in the criminal justice system.”

The explorer will be used to transport mental health patients to facilities appropriate for their treatment and medical needs. This vehicle is the fourth vehicle donation by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s department to Sanford Bemidji Behavioral Health.

“We are grateful to be continuing our longstanding partnership with Beltrami County,” said Jay Coughenour, senior director of behavioral health at Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota. “Partnered-projects such as this help our behavioral health specialists and law enforcement better reach community members going through a mental health crisis and get them the care they may need as soon as possible.”

The Mobile Crisis Team is available for emergency and crisis services. This service is available 24/7 for adults and children who are experiencing a mental health crisis and need further assessment. A mental health crisis is any situation in which a person’s behavior puts them at risk of hurting themselves or others and/or prevents them from being able to care for themselves or function effectively in the community.

The team can assist over the phone, at home, in the hospital — wherever a person in-need may be. To contact the Mobile Crisis Team for assistance, call (800) 422-0045.

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