When it comes to officers responding to mental health crisis callers. One question that seems to keep coming up is, are officers properly trained to respond to mental health crisis situations?
Stacy Wetters, newly rated Dearborn Police social worker and behavioral health specialist believes so.
“Well, they’ve been doing it all along. I think our officers in Dearborn are fantastically trained,” Wetters says.
However, she is willing to admit that there is room for improvement.
“I think where the struggle is, is our limited resources,” Wetters says.
This is where the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, better known as ACCESS, is ready to help.
“People are often afraid that they will be locked up and that the situation will get worse. And we know that locking people up for mental health is not the answer. The solution is to get them help,” ACCESS Director Mona Makki tells CBS News Detroit.
With over 110 mental health specialists on staff, Makki says she made it her mission to make Wetters one of them.
The community loved it. The answers we were getting. I mean, people call me all the time, ‘Mona, can you send that officer and that social worker? Can you please make them go?’ When have we ever heard someone call to say this is helpful?” Makki said, excited about the community’s response, smiling.
According to Dearborn Police data, mental health calls increased 62% from 2020 to 2022. Well-being check calls also increased during that period from 910 in 2020, to 1,139 in 2021 and 1,135 in 2022.
However, thanks to a grant provided by ACCESS and Wetters’ willingness to not only answer mental health callers directly, but also assist better trained officers, both Makki and Wetters can agree that this new partnership it is already making a positive impact.
“We’ve had a few people reach out to me a few times to thank me for continuing,” Wetters says.
“We just hope that many in the community see this as a resource and a way to get the help they need,” Makki says.
For more information about this partnership, mental health programs or how to get help, please visit https://www.accesscommunity.org/.
Leave a Reply