Police in Chicago suburbs already have therapists to attend mental health crisis after calls to 911

There is an innovative new program from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office that allows a medical professional to answer 911 calls.

Foto: Hassan OUAJBIR / Pexels

CHICAGO.- A suburban police department is changing the way officers respond to 911 calls. they now have therapists who assist people who are on the other side of the line facing a mental health crisis.

There is an innovative new program from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office that allows a medical professional to answer 911 calls when it comes to an individual facing a mental health crisis.

Police can call at least a dozen therapists 24/7 when they are faced with a situation involving mental illness or substance abuse and need the help of a mental health professional .

After testing the program for about a year, the sheriff’s office now offers the service to suburban police departments, including Oak Lawn and Blue Island.

Blue Island officers are now one call away from Zoom to connect a therapist with someone who does not want to speak to the police.

Incluyendo Blue Island y Oak Lawn, the program is now available to approximately 200,000 Cook County residents.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his officers are now responding to more than 3,000 mental health calls a year, a number he claims is increasing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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