San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced the launch of the first phase of the city’s Street Crisis Response Team (SCRT), a pilot program dedicated to responding to emergency calls regarding people having mental health crises.
The SCRT is part of San Francisco’s efforts to develop alternatives to police responses to non-violent calls, which advances the roadmap to fundamentally change the way that the city handles public safety, and is also a major step in implementing ‘Mental Health SF’, Xinhua news agency quoted Breed as saying in the announcement on Monday.
The first team will begin responding to 911 calls regarding people experiencing behavioural health crises.
The SCRT aims to provide trauma-informed clinical interventions and care coordination for people who experience behavioural health crises on the streets of San Francisco.
The pilot program is a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Fire Department with support from the Department of Emergency Management.
The San Francisco Police Department will also be a key partner in the transition of certain types of 911 calls to the new teams, according to the announcement.
“This new program can help us break the cycle that all too often keeps people going in and out of our emergency rooms or our jails. When the Street Crisis Response Team responds to a call for someone in crisis, they’ll be able to help with compassion and clinical skills to get people the care and support they need,” said Breed.
“The SCRT is an important first step in our long-term effort to change how we respond to people suffering on our streets.”