CARBONDALE (WSIL) — The Carbondale Police Department has a new job offer: a mental health advocate. The position is designed to help with de-escalation and provide follow-up resources for those in a mental health crisis.
“This person will be able to complement our responses and provide some complementary services from the beginning when we contact the person to provide follow-up services in the back,” said Stan Reno, Carbondale police chief.
This position is new to the department, but the need for the advocate is growing.
“What we’ve found is that we’ve seen growing responses to people suffering from a mental health crisis or a behavioral health issue and what we’ve really focused on here in the police department is de-escalation and the intention to provide services. appropriate social skills that individuals need, ”Reno said.
Studies show that across the country, 25% of people killed by police officers suffer from some form of mental illness.
These same newspapers show when mental health advocates are hired by departments, the use of force is reduced to departments, and negotiation tactics can be used more than arrests.
Chief Reno hopes the new position will help not only the department but also the community.
“So we feel that between this position, our advocate for crime victims and we also have a youth advocate, who provides services for young people in the community, that these three positions will work together and can really provide additional services for to the needs of the community, ”Reno said.