Having a mental health professional involved early on in a crisis situation could help prevent more tragedies from happening, according to a Sturgeon Bay psychologist. Some communities are forming alternatives to police when it comes to initially dealing with emergencies brought on by mental illness. Cities like Eugene, Oregon have formed a mobile mental health crisis intervention team that handles almost 20 percent of the entire public safety call volume for that area. Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says more successful outcomes locally may require a response by mental health experts early on in a crisis.
Dr. White adds that the Oregon model’s statistics show that a lot less effort has to be put into treating people while avoiding suicides and violent behavior by putting resources into the front end of a mental health emergency. This is the second in a series on the mental health crisis facing communities and law enforcement.