Care response. For Cleveland.
Why us? Why now?
Clevelanders have battled poverty, substance use, racism, and trauma for generations. Those struggles are reflected in our community's public safety and health statistics. COVID made matters worse for us, with Cleveland's first responders reporting rising rates of depression, anxiety, substance use, and other behavioral health needs. Cleveland's Mental Health Response Advisory Committee reports that for two years running, almost 90% of all incidents responded to by Cleveland’ Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers involved someone with mental health symptoms, yet the city still dispatches police officers (not mental healthcare specialists) to mental health crisis calls.
You wouldn't ask a plumber to fix your car, or a mechanic to fix your braids. You would ask the appropriate professional for the specific kind of help you need. Crisis care works the same way.
Cleveland's continuum of crisis care services is a two-legged stool, relying primarily on police response, with limited capacity for our co-response teams. Non-police care response, delivered by healthcare professionals, is the missing tool we need.
Care response relies on healthcare-trained professionals to deliver health-based crisis care for people in behavioral health crises.
The time is right, right now, to invest in a complete continuum of crisis care for Cleveland residents.