NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's been a push for police departments around the country to be better equipped to handle mental health calls.
Nashville Mayor John Copper heard the cry and established the "Partners in Care" program, a co-response model that places mental health clinicians in police cars.
In June 2021, Metro Nashville launched the program at two precincts: North and Hermitage.
This pilot program connects individuals who are having a mental health crisis to care services while ensuring the safety and well-being of community members, police officers, emergency medical responders and clinicians.
The city reports the program is delivering on its charge: 41% of participants are experiencing active mental health crisis at the time of service; 96% are connected to care; less than 4% are arrested.
Recently Nashville received federal technical assistance to support the development of the city’s non-law enforcement model of response.
This new service will complement the Partners in Care pilot.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) GAINS Center selected Nashville as one of five sites nationally to participate in the Learning Collaborative on Response Models.
The GAINS Center will conduct a county-wide strategic plan to develop the service in time for deployment likely in the latter half of 2023.
The mayor’s office is convening a planning committee to guide the process. Members of this committee will include key departments and stakeholders, who have been involved in Partners in Care.
Participation in the Learning Collaborative highlights Nashville as an emerging model of response.