I am glad to see police departments willing to take a look at this kind of intervention instead of always responding with officers. As many have said, there are a lot of good officers trying to do the right thing, but they are not mental health professionals, and are often seen as the enemy by those suffering like this.
For people with a history of volatile arrests often while in mental health crisis, this could make treatment more accessible, less traumatic and safer. One in 4 deaths from police shootings represent people with mental illness, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center.
Of course, in order for these kind of programs to work, we need to be able to see people in a mental health crisis as human beings worthy of care, instead of people who need to be locked up, and I fear we are still a long way from that being the majority opinion, so these programs are always at the mercy of funding cuts. Let’s hope, however, that common sense wins out, and we realize that housing seriously mentally ill patients in jail is helping no one.