Town Square

Palo Alto debuts program that pairs officer, clinician on mental health calls

Original post made on Dec 4, 2021

Responding to demands for police reform, Palo Alto on Friday launched a program that pairs an officer with a Santa Clara County mental health clinician on calls that involve an individual in a mental health crisis.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 3, 2021, 4:18 PM


Posted by Old PA Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2021 at 6:33 pm

Old PA Resident is a registered user.

Thank you Palo Alto. I applaud this, as a parent of a child with a mental health issue I can contest it is never, not ever, a person's choice to have this. It is an unwanted and undesired illness that can be difficult to treat consistently and fully. One of the many fears of parenting is what might happen, especially if the police are involved. There are enough stories of mistreatment to send shivers down one's back. This makes me feel a little bit at ease. Thank you again and again. Compassion is everything.

Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 4, 2021 at 7:04 pm

ALB is a registered user.

Many residents have cried out for the police to work with mental health professionals. When a resident had a seizure in Barron Park a naive and untrained police woman assumed that this resident was under the influence of drugs. The officer held back the EMS responders during this critical event. The resident was in dire distress. This was not a mental health case. The police need training and education. Sometimes people exhibit behavior that is caused by a brain tumor. Thankfully this new alliance will benefit the community.

Posted by Marie
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Marie is a registered user.

While this is a step in the right direction, the hours available are pitiful. Save money by following the Cahoots model, successful for 30 years in another college town (Eugene OR) by having the initial team be from a mental health clinic, available 24/7, and the police as backup. If you checkout the Cahoots website, you will see thousands of responses, available 24/7, with very few needing police backup. I vaguely remember 7 in a year but I don't have time to recheck the website. Mental health crises rarely stick to standard working hours.