CSU’s PD plans new response to mental health crises
A mental health professional will join CSU campus police officers when responding to certain calls thanks to a new $367,858 federal grant.
Throughout the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health took center stage, reaching a fever pitch at colleges and universities nationwide. CSU hopes to bridge the communications gap when it comes to providing further assistance to students who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
The initiative, a joint effort of Campus Engagement, the Counseling Center, CSU Police Department will “increase the percentage of mental health calls for service which are met with a trained behavioral health co-responder, along with increased training for law enforcement around the intersection of behavioral health and legal situations,” according to the grant application.
“I believe this is another opportunity for us at CSU to demonstrate our commitment to care and student well-being,” said Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement Ali Martin-Scoufield.
“This will be another option for us to use when responding to calls, potential crises, and students in need.”
The idea of a softer approach is already gaining traction in and around the community, with a significant emphasis on impending scenarios such as welfare checks or a student experiencing harmful thoughts with a gentler style.
“A uniformed officer isn’t always the best response to a person in crisis,” said CSU Police Chief Beverly Pettrey.
“Having other options such as a co-responder could be useful and provide better results.”
Cleveland State is the only university in the country to receive the funding.