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Law Enforcement & Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: Increasing Access to Treatment, Decreasing Recidivism

Law enforcement officers are often first on the scene in a mental health or addiction crisis, using their limited time and resources to respond to individuals with untreated behavioral health conditions. This situation is a direct result of insufficient capacity in the mental health and addiction treatment system to fully meet the need for care in our communities. Experience from a new bipartisan initiative—known as the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model—shows that targeted investment helps clinics partner with the criminal justice system in innovative ways that reduce crisis calls, reduce recidivism, and allow officers to focus more of their time on their main duty: keeping their communities safe.

National Council for Behavioral Health, with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Roy Blunt, conducted a lunchtime briefing on December 4, 2018 to highlight how CCBHCs are building clinics’ capacity to help police get back to policing and connecting constituents to timely addiction and mental health treatment. Law enforcement officers and clinic leaders highlighted the outcomes to date of the CCBHC initiative. CCBHCs are providing sheriffs and police officers with on-the-ground support from mental health and addiction professionals, including by providing mobile crisis teams, re-entry supports, and telehealth services available on-demand to officers on patrol who are called to respond to a person in crisis.

Briefing Materials:

Questions about the briefing or Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics? Contact Michael Petruzzelli at MichaelP@TheNationalCouncil.org.