NYC's Non-Police Mental Health Pilot Increasing Rate of Those Getting Aid, Data Show

In its first month as a pilot project in a part of Harlem, New York's Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) handled one-quarter of 911 calls for mental health crises. Despite fears of danger to the teams of social workers and paramedics, police backup was needed only seven times out of 110 cases. More people accepted help from the non-police teams than in the past from teams of police and paramedics. And that help depended half as often on hospital visits. People got helped on the scene or went to community centers for services. The city plans to expand the program.

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