The United States Psych Congress honors the work of the SAPD Crisis Intervention Team.
“It validates what they do, it validates what they do every day when they get out there and they work with people who are really in crisis,” SAPD’s Dr Melissa Graham said. “And what a great job they do.”
She said officers on this team deal with mental health issues regularly.
“Police truly now are the first line of social workers, they’re the people that get called when anybody’s in trouble,” she said.
This SAPD mental health team handles difficult cases, usually involving people frequently in mental health crisis.
“What we teach all of our officers to do now is, instead of taking people to jail which used to be the only place they could take them, is to get them to help,” she said. “We know that jail is not the appropriate place for people in mental health crisis, so you get them to help.”