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Johns Hopkins University to Start Sending Mental Health Providers on Security Calls

Johns Hopkins University to Start Sending Mental Health Providers on Security Calls

“It became clear that many of the calls being addressed by campus safety and security could be more effectively and appropriately handled by behavioral health clinicians”

It should be fascinating to watch how this works out. It’s not completely clear if the mental health people are going with security or in place of them.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Johns Hopkins University to begin sending mental health providers on security calls

The Johns Hopkins University plans in the fall to begin sending trained mental health providers on calls to campus security from students and staff who may be having a crisis.

The move is similar to pilot programs recently announced in Baltimore city and county, and reflects a movement around the country to better tend to the mental health needs of the community and avoid unnecessary police involvement.

“It became clear that many of the calls being addressed by campus safety and security could be more effectively and appropriately handled by behavioral health clinicians,” said Ronald J. Daniels, the university president, and other Hopkins leaders in a message to the Hopkins community.

“Put simply, it was time for a new approach,” the message read. The Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team “will provide immediate assistance to those who need it and, just as importantly, link individuals in crisis to ongoing university support services in the days and weeks that follow.”

The plan is to pilot the program for the first year around the Homewood campus. Officials will respond to calls from affiliated students and staff, as well as others who live in the close-in communities.

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Comments

This is a good thing. May they learn quickly that this is a stupid, ineffective, and possibly dangerous idea.

drsamherman | May 20, 2021 at 1:09 am

Putting on my retired psychiatrist hat, but that is a stupid idea. If they are dealing with a dissociative disorder (e.g. bipolar, schizophrenic, leftist) patient holding a gun, mere talking won’t do a damned thing. Unless they also carry haloperidol darts.

    henrybowman in reply to drsamherman. | May 20, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Sometimes a stupid idea is a good idea.

    A friend of mine was fond of saying, “Some people never see the light until it shines through the bullet holes.”

    Never forget the Harold Carswell principle — stupid people deserve as much as anyone else to have lessons tailored just for them.

    WindyHill in reply to drsamherman. | May 20, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Thank you for saying that. I was just trying to reflect on the practicality of managing a crisis situation response as opposed to having the relative stability of meeting in an office or hospital setting.

And who gets to evaluate the end-of-year results? What criteria do they use? Who writes the report?

When I worked for the Sheriff, we took a mental health professional with us whenever possible to handle calls involving mental cases. But the mental health person stayed outside until the deputies determined it was safe.

If they are going to use mental health people to enter situations without law enforcement, then they are going to see some mental health professionals getting assaulted.

    henrybowman in reply to OldProf2. | May 22, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Send gunless, defenseless people out to confront psychotics. This is precisely the doctrine I would expect to emerge from an organization that boasts a “Bloomberg School of Public Health” (yes, THAT Bloomberg). One could argue that this entire idea reeks of the “Bloomberg school” of thought. If they think now is the time for them to put up, I’m not going to stand in their way.

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