in northeast Ohio
What tools do we already have that can help us respond to crisis in our neighborhoods and community?
CIT Officers @ CPD
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) at the Cleveland Division of Police is a team of officers who have undergone a voluntary 40-hour training focused on crisis response, mental health, and substance use. Some suburban police departments also have CIT officers.
CPD & Recovery Resources
The City of Cleveland began providing co-response services citywide in the past few months. A social worker is available via telehealth for mental health-related calls and provides some follow up connections to social service providers.
Northeast Ohio does not yet have a care response program. We are eager to see our many stakeholders come together to create a new program design that accounts for the community's needs!
Where are conversations about care response taking place?
The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County implements various crisis response programs, including the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program with the Cleveland Department of Police, and the Mobile Crisis Unit.
Find out more: ADAMHS Board Crisis Services
The ADAMHS Board works with the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Police Commission to administer the Mental Health Residential Advisory Board (MHRAC) which advises the CIT program and other elements of city crisis response.
Find out more: MHRAC homepage
The Cuyahoga County Diversion Center Board and its subcommittees meet regularly to discuss policy and operations of the Diversion Center, which diverts nonviolent community members facing mental health or substance use issues into healthcare and social services instead of jail.
Find out more: Diversion Board homepage
How do we build a new care response program?
We will need to decide what kind of calls qualify for a non-police crisis response team.
Many areas qualify the types of calls or incidents that a care team can respond to. Generally, a call needs to be non-violent and interrelated with a mental or behavioral health issue.
What kinds of calls do you think should be answered by first responders who are not members of the police force?
We will need to decide what kind of expertise will be needed by non-police first responders.
Some cities use teams with specialists from more than one discipline. Some cities rely on healthcare workers to provide a healthcare response.
If you were experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis, who would you want to come help?
We will need to decide what services a care response team should be able to provide.
The most effective care response programs offer peer support and continued/wraparound services that keep community members connected to social services and healthcare providers.
What kinds of resources can help families prevent similar crisis moments from occurring again and again?
There is a major funding opportunity in northeast Ohio to develop new kinds of crisis response programs.
Some of the federal ARPA money is specifically dedicated toward mental and behavioral crisis response. Recent changes in Medicaid policy could mean additional funding toward this type of program as well.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity now to improve public safety for our families and neighborhoods.
Non-police crisis response can solve many problems at once:
Local police departments no longer need to have the responsibility of acting as social workers in many of the situations patrol officers face.
Community members facing a crisis in health can be immediately connected to healthcare services.
A peer response program and wraparound care services means that community members are less likely to become "frequent fliers" of Emergency Rooms and other crisis programs.
Improved crisis response programs help us respond better to those who are most in need.