The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and a behavioral health agency have partnered to assist residents experiencing mental health crises.
“It could not have come at a better time,” Sheriff Rob Streck said of the new Crisis Intervention Team program he worked to develop with support of the county Alcohol , Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services board.
As mental health calls have continued to increase, Streck said in a news release that he wants to ensure deputies are able to recognize signs and symptoms of those experiencing a behavioral crisis while maintaining officer and public safety. The CIT co-responders will be available to assess, de-escalate and refer individuals in need. CIT programs also officer a cost savings to communities that divert individuals in crisis from jails to community-based treatment.
“My goal is to increase community supports to our residents in crisis and ultimately reduce the number of individuals arrested secondary to their mental health problems,” Streck said.
The CIT co-responders are with Eastway Behavioral Health. Both are qualified mental health specialists with multiple years experience working with residents experiencing severe and chronic mental illness.
“We have already seen considerable benefits in a short period of time,” Streck said.