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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

波士頓市長吳弭指派15人組成精神健康危機社區因應小組

 

MAYOR WU LAUNCHES GROUP CHARGED WITH DESIGNING ALTERNATIVE, COMMUNITY-LED CRISIS RESPONSE PROGRAM

15 community members selected to work with consultant to develop strategies for community-led response to mental health crises
BOSTON - Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - Mayor Michelle Wu and the Office of Human Services launched the Community-Led Design Group for Mental Health Crisis Response, made up of 15 community members with professional or lived experience with mental health issues, as part of the City of Boston’s commitment to developing a public safety infrastructure rooted in public health. The decision to explore community-led crisis response programs was a result of feedback from advocates and community members, in particular from communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the lack of mental health supports. The group will design a pilot proposal for a community-led response system for mental health crises throughout Boston neighborhoods and will produce a report in September with recommendations for the City’s evaluation of the program’s feasibility and strategies for implementation.

“Public safety must be grounded in public health and building community trust,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, the depth of mental health needs across our communities makes this work urgent. I am grateful to community members offering their lived experience and expertise to design a crisis response program that effectively, compassionately serves Bostonians in crisis.”

“A mental health crisis is a health care issue, not a criminal one, and it requires an evidence-based, public health response. For too long, those suffering from mental health disorders have been criminalized, leading to further stigma and shame that has deterred people from seeking out care and deepened inequities in our communities,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “The Community-Led Design Group is a critical first step toward ensuring those in crisis can get the care they need.”  

The Community-Led Design Group will examine mental health resources needed to support community members in crisis and opportunities to build community capacity to de-escalate mental health crises and connect individuals to the necessary and relevant resources. This model can potentially offer an alternative entry-point for receiving emergency mental health support, other than calling 911 or waiting for an appointment with a mental health clinician. The alternative crisis response model will center community support, rather than a police response, during mental health crises. Through these efforts, the City will strengthen citywide public safety and public health infrastructure to better protect the safety and wellbeing of Boston residents. The group will develop a report that will be presented to Mayor Wu and the public for review in the fall. The individuals tasked with this responsibility are from a variety of neighborhoods, identities, and backgrounds, representing all Bostonians. Members include social workers, clinicians, organizers, psychologists, housing and mental health advocates, and individuals from organizations working to increase access to mental health support for communities of color. 

Community-led response has already had a positive impact in violence prevention work in Boston. Residents impacted by community violence can call the Neighborhood Trauma Team hotline to receive services and support from professionals who are trained in trauma response and who have connections to the neighborhood. The Community-Led Design Group will explore how the community-led model could expand to support residents facing mental health challenges. 

The launch of this design group builds on Mayor Wu’s commitment to creating alternative crisis response programs in Boston that are grounded in public health. In June 2020, then-City Councilor Michelle Wu filed an ordinance for alternative non-police responses to emergencies. In 2021, former Mayor Kim Janey charged the Mental Health Crisis Response Working Group – made up of the Human Services Cabinet (HS), Boston Police Department (BPD), and Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) – with creating a pilot program to reimagine the way Boston responds to mental health crises, including three response models: (1) enhancing BPD’s co-response, which the City has taken steps to implement by standardizing dispatch procedures; (2) alternative EMS response that would deploy teams of EMTs and mental health workers in response to 911 calls. Boston EMS is actively working through necessary requirements, systems, trainings and securing resources, with a roll out expected within the next three months to six months; and (3) the community-led design group.  

The Working Group has hosted multiple community listening sessions and public meetings, analyzed 9-1-1 data on mental health crisis-related calls and community feedback, researched best practices from other cities, and convened conversations with subject matter experts and stakeholders from other cities that already lead on alternative responses. The development process also included 11 community meetings and a survey Request For Information (RFI).

More information about the Community-Led Design Group for Mental Health Crisis Response is available here, and a summary of the three response models is available here

ABOUT THE OFFICE OF HUMAN SERVICES
The Mayor’s Office of Human Services (HS) is the largest cabinet in the City with seven departments and offices that span work across multiple communities all striving to create a healthier Boston. Committed to promoting and ensuring the health and well-being of the City’s most vulnerable residents, HS provides a wide array of critical programs and services all while advocating for systemic change to tackle root causes of some of our most pressing challenges in the City. HS departments work with and for the populations with the greatest needs in our city, including Veterans, youth, persons with disabilities and our aging residents.

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