Thursday, March 18, 2021

‘COPE’ing skills

Inkster police offer mental health emergency service 

The Inkster Police Department has another new partner in responding to calls involving mental health incidents. 

In addition to the partnership with Growth Works, a non-profit organization in Plymouth serving youth and families, Inkster police also work in partnership with Hegira Programs, Inc. for assistance in calls that involve psychiatric emergencies. 

While the Growth Works partnership is designed to work with those experiencing opioid abuse, the new partnership with Hegira Programs, Inc. called C.O.P.E. (Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies) is designed to help those experiencing a mental-health incident. COPE has a “hotline” available to officers who respond to calls at Adult Foster Care (AFC) and private homes in the city where mental health crises may be involved.

A Mobile Crisis Team from Hegira can be dispatched to the location to triage the needs of the patient experiencing any behavioral health crisis. Staff members from Hegira are trained to make an appropriate assessment of such situations and determine the best care for the individual involved.

The new program can be used by officers even when a crime has not been committed, but there is an individual experiencing a mental or emotional breakdown, refusing to take prescribed medication or who is exhibiting behavior that is not conducive to the rules of the Adult Foster Care home. Officers in Inkster can contact the COPE hotline to generate a request for service and the mobile crisis team will be dispatched. A patient can also be transported to the crisis stabilization unit located in Livonia, in lieu of a hospital. 

The COPE team is available to officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The program is funded by The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, also a partner with Hegira Programs, Inc.  

Inkster officials said they hope this new outreach program will get AFC home patients the proper psychiatric care they need while educating the AFC home staff on the services the police and COPE provide.   This program may also curb some of the calls made to police that are not actually criminal in nature, officials said.  

Hegira Programs, Inc. has recently added another facet to the psychiatric intervention program they provide. Mobile Crisis Stabilization (MCS) is also now available to assist responding officers with “behavioral health calls for service” to include welfare checks where the subject may be exhibiting the onset of behavioral health issues, those with chronic behavioral health issues, those seeking or without access to psychiatric medications and any other situation deemed appropriate by the intake unit. This program, too, is available to both AFC and private homes in the Inkster.

This program is designed to provide help for individuals who are not in imminent danger of hurting themselves or others.

If an Inkster police officer encounters a subject who should be evaluated but who does not need to be placed in protective custody or conveyed to a mental health facility, the officer can refer the individual for this behavioral health support program.

The Growth Works program offers a “rescue recovery - peer support services” to anyone who is seeking opioid addiction intervention.  

This program is designed to help citizens with opioid addiction by assisting them into a rehabilitation treatment program.