Rockland Behavioral Health Response Team Coordinator Steps Down

Rockland Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) has announced that its Administrative Coordinator, Tracie Florida, LMSW, is leaving the organization. Florida, who was a founding member of the BHRT team, will continue to serve as a per diem clinician for the agency.

“Tracie’s devotion to BHRT has been a driving force in helping the agency achieve its mission of providing 24/7 emergency mental health support for the citizens of Rockland County,” said Tim Egan, Executive Director of Rockland Paramedic Services, the parent organization.

“We are so thankful for all that she has done to develop the agency from its inception through this point.” Florida was part of the original staff that founded BHRT in 2015. The agency, which is funded by Rockland County through a grant from the NYS Office of Mental Health, provides mobile behavioral health services and 24-hour-a-day crisis intervention, 365 days a year to individuals, families, schools, and agencies in Rockland County. BHRT’s team of experienced mental health professionals respond immediately to requests for in-person assistance or intervention with behavioral health issues by conducting a basic needs assessment, providing referrals to mental health providers and agencies, or in cases where immediate additional support is needed,arranging for transportation to the most appropriate facility.

During her seven years with BHRT, the agency has gained ground in its role as an essential mental health service for Rockland County. Being able to provide these services to citizens in need has been a hallmark of her career, and Florida noted the pride she has taken in the team and in BHRT’s efforts. “It was exciting to be part of this group as a startup and to watch us evolve and expand,” Florida said. “The BHRT model of embedding mental health professionals in first-response systems was a first for Rockland County, and it has caught on around the country.”

Florida also noted the great diversity of the staff, including five people on the team who speak different languages, and the devotion to the mission as key aspects of her team’s success. “We have very low turnover on our staff, which speaks to how well we work together as a group and with the community,” Florida explained.

Moving forward, she hopes BHRT will be able to secure additional funding in order to decrease response times for calls and to provide greater availability to Rockland residents at all stages of need for mental health services. The new Director of Mental Health Services is Daria Filipovic, LCSW, who assumed the role on February 1, 2022.

The Behavioral Health Response Team provides mobile behavioral health services and crisis intervention 24/7, 365 days a year to individuals, families, and agencies in Rockland County.  The Team can come to an individual’s home or place of work if a mental health situation needs immediate intervention.

BHRT has an experienced team of mental Health professionals capable of responding immediately to requests for assistance or intervention with any behavioral health issue. The issues can range from serious emotional crisis to seeking guidance for behavioral health support. The Team will conduct a basic needs assessment, which is an essential part of the outreach process. They provide referrals to mental health providers and agencies to ensure that individuals and families receive the on-going care they need. If immediate additional support is needed the BHRT team members will arrange transportation to the most appropriate facility. BHRT works collaboratively with all Rockland hospitals, mental health agencies, and first response agencies to ensure the most appropriate care. For more information, visit www.rocklandhelp.org.