MH First says it’s an alternative to 911 for mental health crises

One organization in Northern California says that calling 911 in cases involving a mental health crisis is not always the answer. MH First, MH which stands for “Mental Health,” is a non-911 mental health crisis response team operating in Sacramento and Oakland. Their volunteers range from nurses who specialize in emergency medicine to people who have experience with mental health issues. “We created because we realized it was an opportunity to prevent police contact with people who were in the midst of a crisis,” MH First Co – creator Asantewaa Boykin said, Boykin said MH First, set up in 2020, does a lot of its work over the phone, but they will send People in person if the caller says they are unsafe or if the police are where the situation is developing. “Two or more people are going to go to the scene, and we focus on de-escalation, helping someone figure out what they need at that moment and trying to help facilitate that need,” Boykin said. Boykin said she wants to make one thing clear: MH First does not discourage anyone from calling 911. MH First is just a resource that volunteers want to give to the community. The conversation about how law enforcement handles mental health crises was brought to the fore h, after the deputy Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed 55-year-old Jaime Narango. The sheriff’s office released body camera footage on Tuesday showing Jaime walking toward the deputy, carrying a machete, seconds before the shots were fired. But Elisa Dahir Naranjo, Jaime’s wife, said he was dealing with a mental health crisis, and Elisa said, “I wish it was different because now I don’t have anyone to keep me.” “I wish someone had come here, would have come here and talk to him.” The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office told KCRA 3 that they have a crisis intervention team, where deputies are paired with licensed clinical social workers, and they can respond to the scene together. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said the Crisis Intervention Team is determining if they are needed at the scene based on the 911 call. They were not sent on the call about Jaime Naranjo because according to the 911 audio recording, the family did not say he was diagnosed with a mental illness. But the family told them that Jaime was hallucinating. Elisa said it should have been obvious that something was wrong – so she wants the officers to be better trained. “All I want is to change the way the police or the sheriff comes out because no family deserves to go through what I went through,” Elisa said the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office told KCRA 3 that all of their deputies are undergoing mental health training. An 8-hour course is required, But they also have a more in-depth 24-hour training course.MH First also told KCRA 3 that they train all of their members before going out on any calls.

An organization in Northern California says that calling 911 in cases involving a mental health crisis is not always the answer.

MH firstMH stands for Mental Health, a non-911 mental health crisis response team operating in Sacramento and Oakland. Their volunteers range from specialized emergency medicine nurses to people who have experience with mental health issues.

“We created it because we understood it was an opportunity to prevent police contact with people who were in the midst of a crisis,” said Asantewaa Boykin, of MH First Co-Creator.

Boykin said MH First, which was set up in 2020, does much of its work over the phone, but that they will send people in person if the caller says they are unsafe or if the police are in a position to develop the situation.

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“Two or more people are going to move to the scene, and we focus on de-escalation, helping someone figure out what they need at that moment and trying to help facilitate that need,” Boykin said.

Boykin said she wanted to make one thing clear: MH First does not discourage anyone from calling 911. MH First is just a resource that volunteers want to give to the community.

Talk about how law enforcement is handling mental health crises came to the fore last month, after a deputy at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed 55-year-old Jaime Narango. The The sheriff’s office released body camera footage On Tuesday, Jaime is shown advancing toward the deputy, carrying a machete, seconds before the shooting. But Jaime’s wife, Elisa Daher Naranjo, said he was suffering from a psychological crisis.

“I wish it was different because I don’t have a goalkeeper now,” Elisa said. “I wish someone had come here, would have come here and talk to him.”

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office told KCRA 3 that they have a crisis intervention team, where deputies are paired with licensed clinical social workers, and they can respond to the scene together. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said the crisis intervention team is determining if they are needed at the scene based on the 911 call.

They were not sent on the call regarding Jaime Naranjo because according to the 911 audio recording, the family did not say he had been diagnosed with a mental illness. But the family told them that Jaime was hallucinating.

Elisa said it should have been clear that something was wrong – so she wants the officers to be better trained.

“All I want is to change the way the police or the sheriff go out because no family deserves to go through what I went through,” Elissa said.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office told KCRA 3 that all of their deputies are undergoing mental health training. There is a required 8-hour course, but they also have a more in-depth 24-hour course. MH First also told KCRA 3 that they train all of their members before going out on any calls.

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