OPD Mental health co-responders, truckers save woman on bridge

The team that helped protect a woman in crisis is made up of several people, including mental health specialists. A video showed truckers lined up beneath the Interstate 680 bridge as a woman dangled outside the chain link guard. KETV NewsWatch 7 talks with the co-respondent who convinced her to climb down as she fights the mental health crisis on the frontlines. Omaha police have a team of mental health co-responders who are called to crises. They said that every day they are working with someone, although it’s not always quite as public as it was in this instance.” Well, they must really be hurting , right? Because we’re human. And I just I try to be there with them, you know, I try to find out what’s really going on,” said Cari Soto, a mental health co-responder with Omaha police. She took that call last Monday.”It’s just really important to, you know, go out to the scene, assess. Talk to the individual. It’s neat because we’re not officers. The dynamics are very different,” Soto said. Soto is a licensed mental health therapist. She said she goes to multiple calls involving mental health a day.”Crises look different. And just because they’re not, you know, on the edge of a building or something, their crisis is still important,” Soto said. Her role is to find out what’s going on in a person’s life and get them resources to help. “I’ve always had an interest in therapy. And I think just like that immediate crisis piece, it’s neat,” Soto said. The woman on the bridge eventually climbed down a ladder on top of one of the semis parked under her.” When I reflect on it, I feel proud. I think that it was like a community effort. So, it goes back to just everyone acting quickly and just being there for (them), people caring,” Soto said. Part of Soto’s job is to follow up with people in crisis at the moment and even weeks later. She said the number of calls for help is rising amid the pandemic and stresses that starting that conversation about mental health is a must.”We all have mental health and it’s important to just be there for one another, be kind to one another, and just know that there really is help out there,” Soto said. The woman was taken to the hospital after she was rescued from the bridge. Soto said co-responders often accompany them there to make sure they get the help they need. If you need help, call 988, the new suicide prevention lifeline. And if you do call 911, ask for a crisis intervention trained officer.

The team that helped protect a woman in crisis is made up of several people, including mental health specialists.

A video showed truckers lined up beneath the Interstate 680 bridge as a woman dangled outside the chain link guard.

KETV NewsWatch 7 talks with the co-respondent who convinced her to climb down as she fights the mental health crisis on the frontlines.

Omaha police have a team of mental health co-responders who are called to crises.

They said that every day they are working with someone, although it’s not always quite as public as it was in this instance.

“Well, they must really be hurting, right? Because we’re human. And I just I try to be there with them, you know, I try to find out what’s really going on,” said Cari Soto, a mental health co -responder with Omaha police.

She took that call last Monday.

“It’s just really important to, you know, go out to the scene, assess. Talk to the individual. It’s neat because we’re not officers. The dynamics are very different,” Soto said.

Soto is a licensed mental health therapist.

She said she goes to multiple calls involving mental health a day.

“Crises look different. And just because they’re not, you know, on the edge of a building or something, their crisis is still important,” Soto said.

Her role is to find out what’s going on in a person’s life and get them resources to help.

“I’ve always had an interest in therapy. And I think just like that immediate crisis piece, it’s neat,” Soto said.

The woman on the bridge eventually climbed down a ladder on top of one of the semis parked under her.

“When I reflect on it, I feel proud. I think that it was like a community effort. So, it goes back to just everyone acting quickly and just being there for (them), people caring,” Soto said.

Part of Soto’s job is to follow up with people in crisis at the moment and even weeks later.

She said the number of calls for help is rising amid the pandemic and stresses that starting that conversation about mental health is a must.

“We all have mental health and it’s important to just be there for one another, be kind to one another, and just know that there really is help out there,” Soto said.

The woman was taken to the hospital after she was rescued from the bridge.

Soto said co-responders often accompany them there to make sure they get the help they need.

If you need help, call 988, the new suicide prevention lifeline.

And if you do call 911, ask for a crisis intervention trained officer.

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