South Hadley Chief of Police Jennifer Gundersen and Town Administrator Lisa Wong are pleased to announce that the Town of South Hadley and the South Hadley Police Department have received grant funding of $30,450 from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health under the Co-Response-Jail Diversion Program.
This Massachusetts Department of Mental Health grant, which has been awarded regionally with the Town of Granby and the Granby Police Department, will fund a mental health clinician to respond with police to calls for service in the communities of South Hadley and Granby. With this team approach the clinician and police officer will be able to provide comprehensive services to those community members who struggle with their mental health and wellness or are in crisis. The clinician will be provided by Behavioral Health Network (BHN) which is the regional provider of comprehensive behavioral health services for adults, children and families for the Towns of South Hadley and Granby.
“This much needed grant funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health will certainly improve our response and effectiveness when helping our community members in crisis” said South Hadley Police Chief Jennifer Gundersen. “The co-responder model, led by a licensed clinician, is the best way to connect our South Hadley community members with the mental health services they deserve.”
Both the South Hadley Police Department and the Granby Police Department have robust Crisis Response Teams within their police departments. This grant period funds the clinician and co-response model from January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022. It is anticipated that the South Hadley Police Department will reapply for funding for fiscal year 2023.
“The Granby Police Department has been working with Behavioral Health Network and all of our officers have attended Crisis Intervention Team Training. This training promoted a co-response model with a licensed clinician and the police to respond to a person in crisis” said Granby Police Chief Kevin O’Grady. “This grant will allow officers to co-respond with a licensed clinician and provide the resident with the mental health services they need, including follow-up assistance.”
BHN is proud to partner with and train law enforcement to provide co-response in our local communities. We are pleased to be bringing a better understanding of behavioral health issues to officers in South Hadley and other local communities, and to be joining them in responding to those in need,” said Behavioral Health Networks’ President and CEO Steve Winn.