As part of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Inc.’s long-term strategy to establish Co-Responder programs throughout the communities served by Meridian, a Co-Responder team has been launched this month in partnership with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) in Florida. Meridian’s first team was launched in April of 2018 in partnership with the City of Gainesville and the Gainesville Police Department and has delivered positive outcomes.
The Mental Health Co-Responder team is designed to provide immediate on-scene support, counseling, early trauma intervention, and make service referrals that will best suit the needs of citizens in crisis. The Co-Responder program is an evidence-based approach that provides a positive form of outreach, community education, and de-escalation of crisis within the community. The program will consist of a team comprised of one ACSO Deputy Sheriff that is certified in CIT crisis intervention training and one Meridian mental health clinician; who will partner to work a flexible, 40-hour shift.
The team will ride together in a marked police vehicle and will respond to calls for service involving persons with mental illness, mental health care crisis, and calls involving emotionally charged situations. Their focus will be individuals identified as high utilizers of crisis stabilization units, emergency rooms, and the Alachua County Jail. The majority of the team’s time will be spent responding to calls in the community and conducting follow up visits with people engaged as they respond to calls.
Meridian is a private, non-profit organization that provides mental health and addiction treatment services. The organization seeks to develop a continuum of treatment services that are evidence-based for a range of illnesses.
This was reported by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare on June 25, 2020.
Contact information: Joy Riddle, Senior Vice President/Chief Development Officer, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, 4300 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, Florida, 32608; 352-262-2103; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.mbhci.org