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BOISE -- In the wake of the Connecticut school shooting last week, there has been a lot of discussion about mental health laws and services. There has been no official confirmation that the Newtown shooter was mentally ill, but police have speculated.

There are a number of resources in Idaho, and since Friday's tragedy, many mental health professionals want people to know where to turn if they or a friend or family member is in crisis.

The Mobile Crisis Unit at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Boise is just one place where agencies and individuals can get help.

The unit has a 24/7 call center that helps people and agencies who need immediate attention (such as a person who may have a plan to hurt someone or themselves) or people who need referrals (such as someone who'd like advice on getting a provider set up).

The unit is mobile meaning workers do things like go out to hospitals to evaluate cases or meet police at someone's house to help determine what's best for someone who may be mentally ill.

I think it's really important for people in the public to know that there are resources here. That here in our town, in Ada County, in Boise, that we have things that can help. So we want people to call us here at mobile crisis. We want them to call when they're in crisis or when they just need help, Jennifer Burlage, Mobile Crisis Unit Project Manager, said.

The Mobile Crisis Unit also works with the new Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) and other organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In the Ada, Valley, Boise and Elmore County areas, the number for the Mobile Crisis Unit is 334-0808. In the Canyon, Owyhee, Gem, Payette, Washington and Adams County areas, the number is 1-800-424-0292. The services can also be reached through 211.

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