For Mental Health Month, a New Initiative Focused on Serving Safely

For Mental Health Month A New Initiative Focused On Serving Safely Full
Serving Safely offers a chance to reflect on the myriad opportunities for improving the way criminal justice stakeholders interact with vulnerable community members at all stages of the justice system.

As organizations across the country draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Month this May and to the various ways that mental illness impacts people’s lives, the launch of Serving Safely offers a chance to reflect on the myriad opportunities for improving the way criminal justice stakeholders interact with vulnerable community members at all stages of the justice system. Certainly, it is incumbent upon individual communities to develop a comprehensive crisis care continuum that offers accessible and acceptable services designed to help people stabilize and promote individual recovery. But it is also vital that police agencies are engaged as partners in this work given how routinely they interact with people in crisis and the dangers that these interactions pose for officers.

Serving Safely will deploy a variety of strategies to build these multidisciplinary partnerships; for example, by providing direct training and technical assistance to policing agencies, by supporting the development of a broadened network of champions in the field, and by developing a curriculum for executives that supports managing comprehensive and meaningful community strategies. By providing these and other resources to police agencies across the country, Serving Safely will equip more police officers with the tools they need to serve safely and, in so doing so, promote a justice system that better serves everyone.