Co-Responder Teams consist of two full-time employees; a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) police officer and a master’s level mental health clinician.
The officer and clinician partner together on a flexible 40-hour shift and will ride in a marked police vehicle to respond to calls for service involving persons with mental illness, mental health crisis, as well as calls involving emotionally charged situations. The clinicians for these teams are funded by Meridian and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) managing entity, LSF Health Systems; the officers are funded by the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).
The majority of each team’s time is spent responding to calls in the community and conducting follow-up visits. The remainder of their time is dedicated to leading and facilitating high-utilizer case staffings. The staffings include numerous multi-disciplinary community providers, who have agreed to collaborate on solutions for high-volume users of justice and mental health care services working together creating innovative solutions.
The teams also utilizes time within their shift to address issues at the Intercept 0 point in the Sequential Intercept Model. Intercept 0 on the Sequential Intercept Model focuses on designing mental health/law enforcement systems to connect individuals in need with treatment before a behavioral health crisis begins, at the earliest stage possible.
The Co-Responder Teams are sponsored by Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, the City of Gainesville, The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, LSF Health Systems LLC, and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families.