“We want to make sure we have every opportunity to help mitigate the situation,” said Sarah Punk of Endeavor Health Services.
BUFFALO, NY – Police responses to calls about a mental health crisis came under scrutiny recently, nationwide, and here in western New York.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced Monday afternoon the formation of a new behavioral health team with the Buffalo Police Department in partnership with Endeavor Health Services.
“The team will consist of six police officers, lieutenants, three doctors and a supervisor of the doctors program,” he said.
“We want to make sure we have every opportunity to help alleviate the situation,” added Sarah Punk, Program Manager for Police Behavioral Health Response Teams at Endeavor Health Services.
Endeavor Health Services has experience in this line of work.
The organization partnered with Cheektowaga Police Department in August of 2019.
2 From your side, report this program again November.
“A large part of the reason for the program’s success in Chictouaga is due to the relationships that are built between law enforcement and the doctors who work with them, and that’s really what we want to emulate here in Buffalo as well,” said Bonk. .
Bunk said doctors will respond to calls about mental health crises alongside law enforcement.
“When it comes to mental health calls, there really isn’t a great toolkit available for law enforcement to rely on to be able to come up with solutions at the time of the call,” Bunk said.
“So we really want to make sure that this is what we’re focusing on, that while there’s an active call going on, you have the tools and resources to be able to get this person involved in the right services.”
She added that they will also search for directions in case they encounter a situation in which they can intervene before it rises to crisis level.
“The ultimate goal is just to make sure that we provide collaborative clinical care for those in the community who have difficulty accessing it, and really make sure that we satiate people with mental health conditions who need help and treatment to get back into the mental health system,” Bunke said.
With the official launch of the Behavioral Health Team expected in October, Bunke said she is eager to work.
Mayor Brown announced the formation of the team after that The shooting of the officer involved occurred on Saturday While answering a mental health crisis call.
The man in a mental health crisis hit a police officer, and when he tried to swing again, the officer’s partner shot the man in the stomach.
Mayor Brown said the squad has been in the pipeline for some time but has been postponed due to the Buffalo Police Charity Association.