The Denton Police Department and the Denton County MHMR Center have collaborated to provide officers with suicide prevention training and technology, thanks to a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
SAMHSA recently awarded MHMR with $800,000 in funding through the COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention Grant Program to help individuals in crisis, according to a Denton PD news release. Denton County MHMR has partnered with Denton PD to use the grant to purchase six tablets and fund critical suicide prevention and crisis intervention training for patrol officers.
When an officer encounters a person in a mental health crisis, the tablets will be used to connect the individual with MHMR professionals for a crisis assessment, according to the news release. Currently, screenings and assessments are completed over the phone. By seeing and hearing the individual through the device, MHMR staff will more effectively assess the individual’s condition and provide proper resources and treatment. Additionally, MHMR will follow up with the person within 24 hours.
Through the SAMHSA grant, Denton PD officers will participate in two evidence-based trainings: Living Works Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and the National Council for Behavioral Health Mental Health First Aid Training.