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The 573 on 988

As part of our follow-up story with Ms. World America Elizabeth Gibbar a few weeks ago, I visited her sister, the Program Manager at the Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Cape. I had no idea of all the super cool things that are in play surrounding the psychiatric care of people. We all have family or friends who felt life was just too hard. Some will get help, and others will not. The BHCC team provides 24/7 access to crisis stabilization services. In other words, when someone is having a crisis, they go to the Crisis Center, walk in, and get help 100% free of charge. They get admitted and begin a series of individual counseling and support. So meet the latest 573 Superhero, Savannah Martin, and the Behavioral Health Crisis Center.

573 Superhero, Savannah Martin.

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This Story is sponsored in part by VISITCAPE.COM!

My name is Savannah Martin. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Community Counseling and the Program Manager at the Behavioral Health Crisis Center. In high school, I was lucky to realize that it was my life goal and purpose to help people; therefore, I sought a career in social work. I started my career as a crisis counselor. Little did I know a crisis would hit within my own family.

Savannah and Elizabeth—can you tell they are sisters?

My little sister, Elizabeth, began to struggle with life, and after many efforts to change, she made the terrible decision to take her own life. Many people contemplating suicide don’t want to die. They just want the pain to end and feel suicide is the only way to end that pain—unfortunately, on this day, my sister had these exact thoughts. We are fortunate on that dreadful day because through the efforts of a Crisis Intervention Team officer, she was found, and we were able to save her. This experience was very tough for Elizabeth, myself, and our family; however, Elizabeth and I became determined to use this experience to help others find hope and healing to prevent others from attempting to take their own life. The BHCC is always open and available when in need. We want others to feel they have options because suicide is preventable, and we want to do what we can to prevent suicide.

Suicide is often found to be one of those “taboo” words that no one feels comfortable talking about; however, not talking about suicide will not help. As a community, we must break the stigma about suicide so others feel comfortable coming forward to share how they are feeling. When we find one of our loved ones is struggling, it is best to be there to talk and listen. It is best to ask them directly, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” if the answer is yes, then we must help them connect with a professional immediately. 988 would be a great resource to text or call in this situation. Don’t be afraid to ask these tough questions. It might just save a life.

Elizabeth tells her story.

573: Elizabeth, tell us about your yourney.

I'm Elizabeth Gibbar. Reliving my journey and personal mental health crisis, takes a toll. Strong emotions come with telling my story. Still to this day, I don’t know the exact date. I’m not sure I want to know the date but I do know it was the end of May in 2016, when I made my attempt. It was a journey that led me to that day.

Shortly after getting married, I slowly started to see the life I knew, slip away. I turned to antidepressants for help; what we didn’t know at that time, my body was having the adverse reaction to the medication. From there it was trial and error to find the right care plan for me. Countless medications, doctors, diagnoses, hospital stays, treatments and therapies were tried. Throughout the course of 2 short years, my life was unrecognizable, I was unrecognizable. It was after my marriage ended, jobs were lost, I was recovery from an ectopic pregnancy, my grandmother had recently passed away, I was in extensive outpatient therapy and suddenly everything felt out of my control and I experienced the darkest day of my life. Strangely enough on that day, I remember the morning, I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I was going to die. I remember going to see my counselor and then the next steps I took, the prayers I said and a very strong presence of my faith as I slipped away. It was the quick action of my family that saved my life.

My sister used her resources to call in for assistance not only with our local CIT team but also the CIT team in St. Louis to find me in enough time. Waking up in the hospital there was only more turmoil but my family kept fighting for me. The journey back after my attempt was hard, learning to relive again took time. I wouldn’t be here today without my family and their unconditional love and support. Finding purpose in my journey has been my biggest healing tool. I will continue to share and bring light to an illness that is preventable. We have to talk about suicide, we need to get comfortable talking about a hard topic. It’s okay to not be okay, reach out, there is help!

Comfortable bedding and private rooms for overnight stays at the Behavioral Health Crisis Center.

The Behavioral Health Crisis Center is a partnership between the Community Counseling Center and the Gibson Center for Behavioral Change, funded through the Department of Mental Health. At the BHCC, we provide 24/7 access to crisis stabilization services. Our slogan here at the BHCC is “Help is Always Open.” The BHCC serves adults ages 18 and over; all our services are free. During an admission at the BHCC, we focus on stabilizing the immediate crisis through individual counseling, peer support services, access to medication, and psychiatry services. We also work very hard to ensure everyone we work with has an aftercare plan, which includes a crisis safety plan, community resources, and follow-up behavioral health treatment. We always aim to ensure everyone has a follow-up appointment for further treatment services when they leave us. More information about BHCC services can be found on our website at

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call or text 988, the new crisis hotline available 24/7 and staffed by mental health professionals trained in suicide prevention. More information about 988 in Missouri can be found at How cool is that? What would we do without all these great people looking out for us? Get Out There!

pics, words & vit by t. smugala aka World Supreme Leader of 573 Magazine.

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