“GetHelpNow will help eliminate much of the guess work for law enforcement, EMS crews and others who are at the scene of an emergency,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services.
The app has four categories: 24/7 urgent services, treatment services, supprot services and housing services.
The county spent $100,000 on the app, with the money coming from the health and human services levy. The app was designed by Ascend, a medical technology venture affiliated with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.
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The developers said are looking into ways to integrate information on available beds, but that would come with challenges since providers who would have to feed information into the system about their constantly changing availability.
While in the app, a user can also click to share information about a particular treatment center via text or email, which Jordan Doczy, director of digital at Ascend, said can help people looking up information on behalf of someone else.
Lori Erion, founder of Families of Addicts, who frequently helps get people into treatment, said the app appears to be a good first step. She said it is important that it marks what type of payment the locations take.
While still learning more about the app, Erion said the tool will need to be marketed so people are aware its an option and updated to stay accurate. A database also can’t replace having relationships with treatment centers to get people in crisis served right away.
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“It’s a good start,” she said.
Jones-Kelley said the county views the GetHelpNow app as step one toward adding in all the services into an app to let residents get immediate information on how to access services like food assistance, TANF and transportation.
“There’s a lot that’s going to happen because now there’s a great infrastructure for building upon a new tool,” she said.