Saline County gives official nod to mental health responder program

A new program will go into effect after final county approval on Tuesday, allowing mental health co-responders to assist local law enforcement on calls that involve or potentially involve subjects in need of mental health services. .

The move comes at a time when similar programs are gaining popularity across the country and policing methods are adapting to these trends.

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, about 10% of calls to the police involve someone with mental illness. And that number is growing.

The Saline County Commission approved a memorandum of understanding Nov. 22 that will kick off a program originally discussed by commissioners last spring.

“We have to lay the groundwork and start somewhere,” County Commissioner Bob Vidricksen said Tuesday.

In March, the county approved American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money that was provided by the federal government through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Relief Fund to revive the program and its two-year trial period. .

Saline County gives official nod to mental health responder program

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