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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, January 27, 2023

County executive releases plan for new mental health program to assist police

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced plans Wednesday to help police and other law enforcement officials better deal with mental health emergencies.

The plan adds $82,000 in funding for Journey Mental Health Center, a nonprofit mental health agency. The added funding will expand Community Crisis Response services, which help law enforcement identify mental health crises during incidents.

Parisi emphasized investing in Journey Mental Health Center as part of his 2016 Dane County Budget.  

The partnership will create Community Crisis Teams, made up of expanded staff at Journey Mental Health Center, to work to ensure that police problems involving mental illnesses are dealt with properly. It also will help people with mental illnesses get the treatment they need, Parisi wrote in a Wednesday statement.

“Too frequently mental health episodes now result in calls for law enforcement intervention,” Parisi wrote. “Getting help to these individuals directly is not only a more effective means of treating their situations, but also a better use of our community’s precious resources.”

This is one part of Parisi’s larger campaigns surrounding mental health. Earlier this week Parisi announced that Dane County schools would expand their mental health programs. The county also said this summer that it would expand a program that would bring subsidized aid to those who need it.

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