Grand Blanc officers in the field are able to talk with trained professionals virtually, adding an extra tool to help people in the midst of a mental health crises.
This unique partnership gives officers dealing with a person at a crisis scene an access to mental health professionals over an iPad.
It may be the future for more effective law enforcement.
“It’s one of those things that we deal with 100 times a year here in grand blanc township, we do have some minimal training but again, we are not health care professionals,” said Sgt. Scott Theede with the Grand Blanc Township Police Department.
Officers routinely dispatched on calls involving a mental health crisis can now evaluate that person by including asking if they’d like to speak with a mental health professional. If yes, the officer connecting them virtually via the iPad.
“So, this program allows us that opportunity to actually connect that person in crisis with a health care professional.” Theede said.
It’s an opportunity for better evaluating the type of services needed, giving the officers another valuable tool on the scene.
“We feel really strongly about being able to provide that treatment and consultation right there out in the field so people can get connected immediately with care,” said Jennifer McCarty, the Director of Clinical Services Project Management at Genesee Health System.
A mental health professional always available virtually on the scene adds support and potentially increases safety.
“We’re going to respond as we always have, make sure the scene is secure, make sure that the person who is having the crisis and anyone else in the house is safe,” Theede said. “At that point, we will look to this I-pad as an additional tool.”