COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has set up a Mental Health Crisis Intervention team to de-escalate a situation before it leads to jail or even death.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said they responded to more than 2,700 mental health crises last year alone.
So the sheriff put together this intervention team to cut down on growing concerns.
The team is made up of an ununiformed deputy and a mental health clinician with a master’s degree who respond together to the scene.
They show up to a call and can talk to the person who is going through a mental health situation.
This team will also show up to suicide attempts to try and help the individual.
Sheriff Lott says, “This is a huge issue that should be talked about. Also, addressing mental health shouldn’t be a law enforcement issue. It should be mental health hospitals, but also with us too.”
They’ve already started the task force and have responded to more than 64 calls since February 3.
Sheriff Lott said the pandemic has made the mental health crisis worse.