Citizens for Mental Health & Public Safety
Advocating for mental health funding in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County
Make your voice heard on how to spend the County Mental Health & Public Safety Millage funds
If you or someone you know needs immediate help with a mental health issue, call Washtenaw County Community Mental Health 24/7 Access/Crisis Services at 734-544-3050.
A Guide for Ann Arbor City Officials To Improved Public Safety Services
E. Recognize People -- Not Abstract "Institutions" -- Implement Policies
(Numbering of principles is continuous through sections A - F.)
9. Crisis response teams should be well-trained as a team. Current practice all-too-often results in a number of clinicians, armed
officers, and sometimes peer support specialists arriving at a crisis with little or no prior experience of working together. Making matters worse, the clinicians, peers, and armed officers often have little or no training on how to best integrate areas of expertise. The result is confusion that reduces safety for everyone and also reduces the likelihood of an appropriate caring response to the person in crisis. Protocols should be developed to govern the decisions related to which responders lead and which responders provide support. The collaboration of the AAPD and Sheriff’s Office, and other police agencies as well, in special weapons and tactics (SWAT) and crisis negotiation team (CNT) should be studied as a possible model for creating, funding, training, and implementing effective teams. We can also learn much from successful programs in other cities and states.
10. Policies and procedures must recognize and take account of substantial work force problems. Retaining and hiring needed
clinicians, social workers, law enforcement officers, and other personnel required for effective crisis response has become difficult at best and seemingly impossible in many cases. City and County planning should include a two-pronged approach to this problem:
Study the constraints on hiring and retention of high quality staff and lessen these constraints when feasible.
Recognize when simplistic “hire more excellent staff” recommendations are unrealistic in the short term and thus inadequate; formulate a realistic “Plan B” in these cases.
Use these links to go to other parts of the "Guide for Ann Arbor City Officials ...."
A. Deflect and Diversion from Law Enforcement To Help Through Counseling and Therapy
B. Respond To the Current Crisis Among Children and Youth
C. Recognize 988 Will Soon Take Its Place Alongside 911
D. Recognize and Utilize Local Expertise