Program aims to boost response to mental health crises

TOWSON, Md. — Mobile crisis teams in Baltimore County respond to fewer than half of calls to help people having mental health crises.

But The Baltimore Sun reports that a pilot program aims to add more behavioral health professionals and set up a system to redirect some 911 calls from police to behavioral health resources.

When teams aren’t available — about 57% of the time — Police Chief Melissa Hyatt says call-takers route the requests for aid to patrol officers.

There are 20 part-time and full-time clinicians, and 12 officers with 40 hours of crisis intervention training in the county of nearly 830,000 residents. Police say officials begin meeting next month to plan the program’s rollout.

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