Three Oakland County Police Departments have partnered with Oakland Community Health Network to launch a new program to improve mental health support during crisis call response.
The Co-response Community Outreach (Core) initiative, led by law enforcement agencies in Auburn Hills, Birmingham and Bloomfield Township, contracts with a licensed mental health clinician from the Oakland Community Health Network to improve services and interactions with people with mental health problems or substance abuse emergencies.
The supports that will be provided by the mental health clinician include, but are not limited to, case management consultation, crisis intervention, service coordination and referrals to public mental health resources or community.
The clinician will officially begin on Monday August 9 with a work schedule that aligns with the days and times identified by the three police departments, for example when there is a high frequency of calls in the event of a health crisis. mental or drug addiction.
This initiative is considered even more integral because of how society changed during COVID-19. The increase in mental health and substance use emergencies at local, regional, national and national levels has led law enforcement officials to respond to situations that only qualified mental health professionals can. often provide.
“We are extremely grateful for the vision of these three proactive and responsive police services,” said Dana Lasenby, executive director and CEO of the Oakland Community Health Network. “Their decision to launch the Co-response program helps ensure that people living in their community who are experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis are connected to valuable behavioral health supports. “
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan approved a $ 75,000 grant to start the project, funding the mental health clinician. The councils of the three municipalities also voted in favor.
“On behalf of the three police departments, I would like to express our gratitude to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for approving a grant of $ 75,000 to help fund the clinician position at OCHN which is the key to success. of the program, ”said Mark Clemence, Head of Birmingham. police officers. “We are also grateful for the support we have received from our local elected officials who have unanimously approved the necessary inter-local agreements to engage in this important community collaboration.
Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, applauded the departments and the health network for their partnership “on a collaborative and creative approach to protect and serve.”
The Oakland Community Health Network helps approximately 23,000 county residents at more than 300 service sites. Those who receive mental health services through the network include people with an intellectual or developmental disability, a mental health problem or a substance use disorder.
The majority of these people have Medicaid insurance coverage, the network said.