New team would pair medics and social workers to respond to mental health calls, instead of police

in Health & Wellness

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Last October, the Knoxville Police Department and the McNabb Center formed a co-responder program pairing behavioral health specialists with police officers as they respond to calls involving behavioral health issues or mental health crises.

As of May 4, the team responded to 199 calls. More than a third of the calls were for people experiencing suicidal ideation. Almost half of the people involved in the total number of calls were taken to the emergency room for further treatment. Officials said 41 percent were given referrals and resources.

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