MASSACHUSETTS: Regional Effort Better Equips Officers for Behavioral Health Disorders

November 09, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Massachusetts

The MetroWest Daily News

Three Massachusetts police departments are launching a jail diversion program for people with mental health issues. Northborough, Southborough, and Westborough police are partnering on the effort, which aims to provide people in crisis with treatment-based alternatives to jail. The program will hire a mental health clinician to respond to mental health emergencies alongside officers and help address issues such as homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Officers will also receive training in how to de-escalate crisis situations. Police departments across the country are seeing an increased need for mental health support among the people they serve, according to Southborough Police Chief Ken Paulhus. “We are trying to get them the services they need,” he said. 

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Settings:  Law Enforcement, First Responders
Strategies:  Respond to Crisis