Next month, teams of counselors and emergency medical technicians will join Oklahoma City police in responding to some of the city’s mental health emergencies.
Officers will continue to be on scene to respond to criminal activity and safety concerns. But in cases of non-violent mental health emergencies, they will call on a mobile crisis team for support, Oklahoma Watch reports.
Clinicians from NorthCare, one of the state’s largest mental health treatment providers, will provide counseling on scene, determine the best way to help and connect the person to care, which could include water, food, shelter, medication, regular counseling, support groups or hospitalization. EMTs will provide basic medical care.
The new program, called Champions, aims to provide social services during a crisis rather than after-the-fact.