The Family Counseling Center in Gloversville provides mental and behavioral health care to patients throughout the region. Its Mobile Crisis Unit takes those services on the road.

Jeremy Purtell is the mobile crisis councilor. He can be called to any Fulton County school for a student in distress, whether that means the patient is being aggressive or suicidal.

In the first three months of the school year, Purtell has responded to more calls than the entirety of last school year.

“Now with the uncertain times in the world today, kids aren’t sure if they’re going to have school tomorrow, what next week looks like,” says Purtell.

The Gloversville Enlarged School Districts partnered with the Family Counseling Center several years ago. If needed, Purtell can respond to the school to meet with other counselors and the student in need.

Superintendent David Halloran says that relationship has been extremely helpful, especially in a year where mental health emergencies are on the rise.

“He cares about kids. It’s pretty evident in your reactions with him that he cares about the students he’s charged with helping. So, he’s a good partner for us to have,” says Halloran.

It’s a tool in the toolbox for districts figuring out how to navigate pandemic challenges. Gloversville believes the situation is improving, in part because of community organizations like the Family Counseling Center.

“There’s a lot of resources here and I think as a school system, we have to be the linchpin to ensure that the efforts of all of these groups are being maximized to help kids,” says Halloran.