Demands to defund the police are rather counterintuitive considering communities’ dependence on them to address any incident that is considered a threat to public safety or a nuisance to the community. Law enforcement responds to calls involving individuals experiencing mental health or substance abuse crisis. But since they are not the most qualified to provide the needed care and support, whatever issues these individuals have are often not addressed appropriately.
This session will discuss how Telehealth allowed to provide these individuals with the support and resources best suited for the crisis they’re going through. The resource speakers are:
- JC Adams, Founder and CEO of Cloud 9 Telehealth
- John Colburn, Clinical Director for Cloud 9 Telehealth
- Karla Ramirez, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Behealthle Consulting
- Frank Webb, Project Manager in the Special Projects Unit of the Patrol Bureau of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Specifics covered on this webinar are:
- The issues linked to individuals with substance use problems and serious mental health illnesses, and the cost and burden it creates for the community.
- Crisis intervention models employed in communities, its benefits and limitations, and how these ensure individuals at risk are getting the best care.
- Acknowledging the value in maximizing technology to address the limited resources and high expectations.
- Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s experience utilizing Cloud 9 Telehealth.
- How the program came to be and the collaborators that initiated the program.
- Leveraging technology to get timely and affordable behavioral health assistance to officers in the field.
- Accomplishing safety of all involved, the ability to triage cases, and accessibility to needed behavioral health services.
- Reducing time-consuming and expensive ER transports and diverting individuals with mental issues away from jails.
- The existing Harris County Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) model where masters-level clinicians are deployed to calls for service alongside deputies.
- The challenges of the CIRT model in terms of timeliness and logistics.
- The Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) program, the systems used to measure effectiveness, and the positive findings of the evaluation.
- How Telehealth served as a force multiplier providing the same level of service as the CIRT does but made quicker and more affordable with the CORE.
- Cloud 9’s technology doesn’t stop at crisis intervention.
- Partnering with tech and communications companies to provide the device and connectivity needed to make this happen.
- How it reinforces the sequential intercept model by providing collaborative and ongoing care to at-risk populations.
- Assisting on the accountability front, preventing recidivism, and ensuring continuous and successful treatment plans to keep individuals out of crisis.
- Action items to work on to achieve the same outcomes to your community that highlights the importance of a shared vision, collaboration, data and evidence, and genuine public service.
Points raised during the Q&A were about:
- Common mistakes committed when looking for solutions to address at-risk populations.
- Expanding the program to other areas in the US particularly the remote areas.
- Utilizing data to demonstrate the program’s benefits and justify the need for funding.
- The training CORE deputies had to go through and their feedback on the training.
- User experience with the technology.
Resources and Handouts
- Additional Reading Resources List
- Presenter Contact Info
- Harris County Telehealth Implementation Guide
- Related/Mentioned JCH Webinars:
- “How to implement a system such as this in my community. Law enforcement and mental health concerns have been a continuous problem. I am looking forward to having a discussion with my elected District Attorney regarding the possibility of implementing this program.” — Angel
- “Expert resources to world-class innovators and strategic design in one of the most important and pressing topics today – this webinar was phenomenal!” — Anita
- “I liked that they gave examples and statistics on the impact they have seen through the testing.” — Crystalynn
- “That there is data to support co-responder models that use tablets so that clients can access MH care remotely are effective.” — David
- “This needs to be looked at across the country. It seems it is what many mean when the state to “defund the police”. This service is both cost-effective and need-specific. It also should help improve the image of police officers, most of whom work to “protect and serve.” — Joe
- “Very good! Experts in their field. Helpful in just starting out and researching co-responder format.” — Kirk
- “Incredible current events as John C. pointed out, wow! This helps me to see the bigger picture, someone already thought this out, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel locally. Our bosses intimate some of these thoughts and talk about the future but we are still in the ’50s and ’60s.” — Laura
- “A great topic – very important in law enforcement. As a probation officer, I have seen how the criminal justice system fails the mentally ill over and over again. The existing system criminalizes them instead of finding ways to help them. It is great to know that there is a program like that that uses collaborative efforts to adequately identify the individual’s needs and appropriately handle these needs in the community. Once again thank you for an outstanding webinar.” — Marie
- “Thank you for a very informative webinar! The most beneficial information is that there are low cost, high-tech solutions to not having a fully-established Co-REsponder Program, and positive results are still attainable with different variations of programs.” — Lori