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Police-Mental Health Collaboration “Project F.I.R.S.T.” to be discussed at May 12 Work Session.
At the May 12, 2021 City Council Work Session, the City of Lawrenceville Council Members will discuss a Memorandum of Agreement between the Lawrenceville Police Department and View Point Health Community CARE for Behavioral Health Services.
Through this agreement, licensed behavioral health clinicians would be assigned to the Lawrenceville Police Department (LPD) to provide mental health services through a Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC) to implement a co-responder program. Through this program, behavioral health clinicians would be embedded into field operations and dispatched with officers on mental health crisis calls, and able to assist individuals obtain the necessary services after crisis conclusion. The project is called Project F.I.R.S.T in reference to “For Intensive Response & Supportive Transitions” and View Point Health Staff will be referred to as FIRST Clinicians.
“Our Command Staff has spent a significant amount of time researching this program and strongly recommend a Police-Mental Health Collaboration with View Point Health Community CARE,” said Tim Wallis, Chief of Police. “By providing continuous specialized support to our law enforcement officers through a partnership of this kind, Lawrenceville will become an even better place to live, work and play.”
The intent is for this program to become effective July 1, 2021. If approved, View Point Health will provide the LPD fulltime licensed behavioral health clinicians to conduct behavioral health evaluations and crisis intervention services to individuals identified by the Lawrenceville 911 Communications Center and/or officers of the LPD.
LPD desires to implement a Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC) co-responder program (Project F.I.R.S.T.) to supplement and enhance its current Crisis Intervention Team service delivery model for mental health crisis response. Project F.I.R.S.T. would establish a full scope of behavioral health services to those considered to have behavioral and emotional challenges or drug dependency issues in order to eliminate or limit the need for police officers to respond to those in a mental health crisis and further establish access to a Mobile Crisis Response Team and provide a Case Management Team for identified individuals. Behavioral Health Services would include comprehensive behavioral health assessments, individual and group counseling, linkage to community resources, and other “as needed” behavioral health services.
“Lawrenceville is the county seat and the central location of multiple facets of healthcare and government entities that play an important role in our mental health crisis response for the entire county,” said Mayor David Still. “If the county jail, medical facilities and treatment facilities in Lawrenceville are unable to assist an individual in a mental health crisis, we want to provide our police department with every resource available to aid in their response. That is what we are called to do as community leaders.”
At Wednesday’s work session, the City Council members may choose to table the project or move forward by placing it on the agenda for the City Council Meeting scheduled for Monday, May 24, 2021 at 7 pm. For additional information regarding Lawrenceville City Council agenda items and meetings, visit https://lawrenceville-ga.municodemeetings.com/. For additional information about View Point Health, visit www.myviewpointhealth.org.