National Mental Health Care Legislation Brought up in Congress

A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators, Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Texas Republican John Cornyn, are pushing for legislation to support local governments that are expanding their mental health-care emergency responses, which seeks to shift the responsibility away from the police. “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the mental health challenges so many Americans are facing, […]

States Unable to Match Surge in Mental Health Requests

Mental health services as an alternative to police response is a relatively new concept. The main catalyst for alternatives has been race-related police brutality. However, public health, economic and racial justice crises have drastically increased the amount of mental health requests. The mental health services that have been implemented in many states, like Colorado or […]

A Proposal for a Mental Health Service Provider in Illinois

(Illinois) The Illinois House of Representatives passed a proposal to create an emergency 9-8-8 call provider that will provide mental health professionals that can treat people experiencing mental health crises instead of standard police. The proposal will be sent to the Senate to be voted on. Sponsors are saying this change is needed to make […]

Durham Redirecting Police Resources into Police Alternatives

(DURHAM, NC) If the city of Durham’s budget passes next month, Durham council members decided on Thursday morning that as many as 20 vacant police officer positions could be cut over the next year to help fund the city’s new community safety department. The proposed community safety department will include a total of 15 employees […]

Orange County Exploring Police Alternatives to Mental Health Calls

Orange County officials are looking for better ways to address mental health crises. Some of the goals Orange County is looking for is a softer approach from police officers in addition to behavioral-health services being deployed for every mental health emergency call. Orange County has been under pressure after a recent shooting of Jeffrey Ely […]

Police officer fatally shooting disabled man after being told to leave

Patrick Lynn Warren Senor was experiencing a mental health crisis so his family called 911. The Warren family requested a mental health professional, however, a police officer arrived instead. When the officer, Reynaldo Contreras, arrived, the family told Contreras to leave after he exhibited a hostile demeanor. Contreras returned and Warren Sr. answered the door, […]

Minneapolis City Council attempting to create a mental health response team

A proposal regarding police reform is being circulated through the Minneapolis City Council. The proposal would create a 24/7 mental health mobile emergency response team. Currently Minneapolis police respond to all 911 calls, including non-violent calls and mental health crises. Mental health crisis calls are the third highest number of calls in Minneapolis. The response […]

New York City Implementing Police Alternative for Mental Health Calls

A new pilot program in New York City will allow mental health and crisis workers to respond to mental health emergencies instead of law enforcement. “For the first time in our city’s history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help […]

Grassroots organization in Minneapolis pushing for police response alternatives

In Minneapolis, police are involved with every 911 call including calls regarding mental health crises. Taren Vang called 911 expecting mental health professionals to arrive after her boyfriend was threatening suicide. Police arrived instead of mental health professionals and Taren’s boyfriend was fatally shot. The grassroots group, Communities Against Police Brutality, is advocating for an […]

Indianapolis Mobile Crisis Assistance Team

(Indianapolis, IN) The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department established a mobile crisis assistance team (MCAT). If an officer needs help assisting someone in a mental health crisis, an officer and a clinician will respond. When MCAT arrives on scene, 96 percent of the time no arrests are made. “You are not going to be able to […]