Dallas public safety agencies launch innovative mental health program
The Dallas Police and Fire-Rescue Departments are partnering with the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Parkland Health & Hospital System to launch a new response program for behavioral health-related 911 calls. The Rapid Integrated Group Healthcare Team, RIGHT Care, will provide the citizens of Dallas with a comprehensive approach to emergency mental health response.
Partnering specially trained paramedics, police officers and Parkland mental health professionals, RIGHT Care is the first program of its kind in Texas. These teams will be dispatched to behavioral health calls in South Central Dallas, operating 16 hours a day, every day of the week. The effects of this team will be seen across Dallas, as it frees up other police and fire personnel to respond to more calls.
“We believe this program will enhance EMS service delivery overall as ambulance units will be more available to respond to other high priority EMS calls in a timely fashion,” said Marshal Isaacs, MD, Medical Director, BioTel/EMS System, Dallas Fire-Rescue, attending emergency physician at Parkland and Professor of Emergency Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
In addition, a Parkland mental health clinician will be in the 911 call center to serve as a liaison to police officers across the City. Dallas is the first city in the country to house a mental health clinician in the 911 call center.
“This partnership exemplifies the service first mission of the Dallas Police Department and the City of Dallas. With police, fire, and hospital personnel working together on the RIGHT Care program, we can provide the best service to our community,” said U. Renee Hall, Chief, Dallas Police Department.