TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Gracepoint is launching a new program that is dedicated to kids in schools after seeing an increase in calls regarding children’s mental health.

Gracepoint has partnered with Hillsborough County Public Schools for the new Mobile Crisis Team to help address the mental health crisis in children.

“They are going to have their own mental health representatives, they will triage those children, and then they will refer to us should the individual need more services,” said Roaya Tyson, Chief Operating Officer for Gracepoint.

This new service was created due to the pandemic, as Gracepoint has seen an increase in calls dealing with children and mental health issues.

“We’ve seen depression, anxiety, a lot of isolation. Some of the parents are not sure what to do and they have reached out to us and even some of the schools are not sure what to do so they have reached out to us,” added Tyson.

The non-profit has launched this program to serve as a new tool to help students dealing with mental health and prevent any unnecessary Baker Acts.

 “The goal of this new program is to divert children from the Baker Act units and provide a less restrictive level of care, in the home and in the schools, and with their family,” said Tyson.

Right now, the Mobile Crisis Team is running on a soft opening. They plan to have the program fully staffed and operating by October