Indianapolis Office Of Public Health And Safety On A Recruitment Drive To Enhance Mental Health Services

Enhance Mental Health Services

The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety is taking significant steps to enhance mental health services in the city, with plans to expand the hours and manpower of the Mobile Crisis Assistance Team (MCAT) and the Clinician Lead Community Response Team (CLCR).

These initiatives seek to provide better support for individuals in crisis and further integrate mental health care into the community.

Collaborative Efforts To Enhance Mental Health Services 

One of the primary objectives of this expansion effort is to make mental health support accessible round the clock. Martine Romy Bernard-Tucker, Director for the Indianapolis Office of Public Health, explained, “The plan is to be 24/7.

We want people at any point in the day to call for help and connect with clinicians.” However, this goal faces the reality of staffing challenges, even though competitive salaries are offered to attract qualified professionals.

Currently, MCAT responds exclusively to mental health incidents that have turned violent. This specialized team pairs a clinician with an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer. However, MCAT’s availability is limited to Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On the other hand, the CLCR team operates seven days a week, offering extended hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, CLCR can only respond to non-violent incidents. Initially launched as a pilot program in July, it primarily served the downtown area.

Recognizing the demand for expanded mental health support, the Indianapolis Office of Public Health is seeking an increase in the 2024 budget to support these crucial initiatives.

The goal is to allocate additional funding to the clinician team, enabling expansion into the east district and the implementation of 24/7 services in both districts.

Martine Romy Bernard-Tucker emphasized the importance of this budget expansion, saying, “The request for the 2024 budget is to expand the budget for the clinician team, to allow for that expansion to the east district and 24/7 service in both districts.”

The Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center plays a significant role in supporting the MCAT clinicians who accompany IMPD officers.

This partnership ensures that mental health professionals are readily available during crisis situations. However, it’s worth noting that IMPD covers the expenses associated with officers and equipment in the unit.

For now, the expansion of hours for MCAT remains a challenge due to staffing constraints. Bernard-Tucker explained, “There are conversations about expanding and what we can do better. What gaps there are that we can fill in.”

The office is actively exploring ways to enhance these crucial mental health services and meet the needs of the community more effectively.

The Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety’s efforts to expand mental health services represent a significant step towards creating a more comprehensive and accessible mental health care system in the city.

By aiming for 24/7 availability and extending the reach of specialized teams, they hope to provide timely support to individuals in crisis and ultimately contribute to the overall well-being of the community.

As conversations about mental health continue to evolve, initiatives like these are vital in breaking down barriers to care and fostering a culture of mental health awareness and support.

The investment in mental health services is not just an investment in individual well-being but also in the collective health and resilience of the community.

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  • Indianapolis Office Of Public Health And Safety On A Recruitment Drive To Enhance Mental Health Services