Lawrenceville, Ga. – Thanks to the Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) for helping talk a Gwinnett County man off a bridge.
Tuesday in a 911 call reporting a man jumping off the Jimmy Carter Blvd. to I-85.
The Gwinnett County Department of Behavioral Health responded within minutes.
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A police officer and clinical response team let him know they weren’t there to arrest him, they were there to help.
With a helping hand on his back, the clinician and the officer found ways to connect with him around 3:30 p.m.
Less than an hour later, the man walked off the bridge into the arms of the woman who helped save his life.
“What’s more important than any lesson or story is the connection, connecting with people,” said Pejaman Mahdavi with Viewpoint Health. Channel 2’s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson.
Mahdavi oversees BHU’s six teams and five clinics.
They respond with police to people making threats on the roof and were there last year when a man barricaded himself in a bus.
In most cases, he said, a mental health crisis can be resolved without incarceration and by planning for long-term services.
“We can check with them to make sure the problem is at the root, not the root,” Mahadavi said.
BHU is hoping to expand and add more people to its team.
They have responded to 3,000 calls since last August, and less than 2% have resulted in arrests.
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