The Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration was created in 2014 to develop Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs across New York State, in conjunction with and as the lead consultant for the NYS Office of Mental Health. Since that time, the Institute has expanded its scope of work and conducted a variety of related system assessment, performance improvement, and training initiatives throughout New York and other states. The Institute operates under the auspices of Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI), a not-for-profit located in Rochester, New York that specializes in program management and technical assistance for behavioral health and human services initiatives.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs are local, multi-disciplinary collaborations that work to transform crisis response systems to be less reliant on law enforcement as first responders to individuals in emotional distress. These collaborations include representatives from law enforcement, the mental health system, and people with lived experience navigating mental health and substance use treatment systems for themselves and/or loved ones. During the first year of CIT program development, the Institute provides intensive technical assistance to assist localities with deepening their understanding of their own crisis response systems, identifying opportunities to divert individuals in crisis away from law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and creating infrastructure to support ongoing improvements and data collection. The Institute also provides training for law enforcement officers that focuses on increasing knowledge and improving skills, to engage more effectively with persons in crisis when they are the first responders.

The Institute is also the lead consultant for the Mobile Access Program (MAP), funded by the NYS Office of Mental Health. MAP is a telehealth program that connects individuals in emotional distress with mental health clinicians from local agencies when law enforcement officers are the first responders. Law enforcement officers carry iPads and can initiate a remote evaluation using Zoom for Healthcare, a secure teleconferencing software. Mental health clinicians provide support, assessment, and referrals for follow-up care, often within their own agencies. The goals of MAP are to increase access to mental health evaluations during times of crisis and to reduce unnecessary transports to the emergency department. Since the inception of the program in 2019, over 75% of MAP calls have resolved with individuals able to remain at the scene without a transport to the hospital or any another service.

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