NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Another western Massachusetts community will soon have mental health professionals to join certain 911 calls.
This program just started in Greenfield and they’re already seeing fewer emergency room visits for mental health reasons, and that’s what led to this change in Easthampton.
Starting in July, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said a trained member from Clinical and Support Options will ride along with Easthampton Police. The mental health professionals will be able to assist in de-escalation as well as offering local resources and following up.
“We’re really combining mental health and behavioral health services with policing,” said Mayor LaChapelle. “It’s like an Oreo cookie. Right? I mean you’re sandwiching social services more on the continuum of a safety network and support.”
Mayor LaChapelle said this program will not take away funding from the police department.
They’re able to pay for it thanks to grant funding CSO has obtained. They’re working to secure more grants to potentially expand it.