The City of Shaker Heights announced a new Mental Health Response Pilot Program in partnership with The MetroHealth System and Recovery Resources. The program, which launches in January, provides social workers and other support for the City’s fire and police departments when responding to residents dealing with mental health, substance abuse and other issues.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of creating a new emergency response model through this partnership with MetroHealth and Recovery Resources. This initiative will better serve residents who call for emergency services, but whose needs are better met by a mental health professional,” said Mayor David E. Weiss. “This program grew out of a commitment to evaluate emergency response procedures by our police and medical first responders to ensure equitable, high quality service delivery to Shaker residents. I applaud MetroHealth and Recovery Resources for their visionary leadership and willingness to work closely with us on this pilot program, and I am proud of our police and fire professionals, and paramedics, for striving to find innovative ways to deliver exemplary service to our residents.”
City officials, with the leadership and guidance of Councilmembers Tres Roeder and Anne Williams, and valuable input from Shaker Heights residents, developed the program.
Under the agreement, Recovery Resources will hire a social worker to work alongside the City’s first responders to provide outreach to residents who may benefit from mental health, substance abuse or other social services. The MetroHealth System, which owns Recovery Resources, can also provide medical services or additional support if required. In addition, the social worker may respond to 911 calls with police officers and/or paramedics.
Shaker Heights paramedics and police officers are also undergoing enhanced Crisis Intervention Training through the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County. This training is designed to help de-escalate situations with individuals in a mental health crisis.
“Behavioral health is a huge unmet need in our community, and we are doing all we can to provide help for our friends and relatives struggling with mental health or substance use issues,” said Akram Boutros, MD, President and CEO of The MetroHealth System. “We are proud to partner with Shaker Heights on this groundbreaking program. Police and firefighters answering calls will now have another tool they can access to get people the help they need.”
“Recovery Resources has worked with schools and courts to provide this type of help, and now we’re excited to work with police and fire,” said Pamela Gill, President and CEO of Recovery Resources. “Shaker Heights is to be commended for taking this forward-thinking approach to helping our vulnerable neighbors.”