Community Response Team making a difference in mental health calls in Abilene, elsewhere
An alliance between Betty Hardwick Center and the Abilene Police and Fire departments to bring better response to mental health issues worked 1,654 calls for service in its first year.
Its primary goal is to stop clients from cycling between behavioral health systems, hospitals, law enforcement and the criminal justice system, while strengthening the relationships between those entities for better outcomes.
“We feel the team has worked out well,” Jenny Goode, Betty Hardwick’s chief executive, said Wednesday. “… It’s been a proactive move on the part of our community to address a population that sometimes is challenging.”
One good thing about the federal grant is that it will also help fund genuine research to make the program, and presumably others like it, better.
“In addition to paying for the team, we have a research partner that we’ve contracted with, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and they’ll be helping us with the research arm of this to measure progress in probably a little more formal way than we have done ourselves,” Goode said.
Read the full story from the Abilene Reporter News.