More help for mental health professionals - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

More help for mental health professionals

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Members of the Mental Health Peace Officers Program are solving problems in Grayson County. (KTEN) Members of the Mental Health Peace Officers Program are solving problems in Grayson County. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Grayson County is introducing a new program aimed at giving those with mental health issues a chance to find resources.

Law enforcement officers are being trained to de-escalate and help during a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Peace Officers Program is a year-and-a-half in the making, and is a result of Grayson County, Texoma Community Center and other organizations coming together to make a change.

Having trained peace officers allows for a more effective intervention,  and let law enforcement continue with regular patrols.

The program helps those who enter the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice program. Those who do are currently found in the county jail, where they don't always have access to the right resources.

The mental health peace officer program aims to change that.

"We are likely to keep them out of that system," said Whitney Redden of the Texoma Community Center. "Once they go to our county jail, our county jail isn't the best place for someone to receive treatment; that's not what they do, they're not as equipped. They do their best and they do a great job, but they're not equipped to provide mental health services."

The mental health peace officers receive 40 hours of training.

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