Health & Medicine

Police departments to hire clinicians to help with mental health calls

TOOMBS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) – Federal funds will be used in Vidalia and Lyons to help officers handle mental health-related calls.

With the money from the grant, each police department will get to hire and pay a full-time clinician to be on staff to assist their police force.

The Co-Responder Emergency Program is now in place thanks to the $2 million grant. Paige Williamson, the Director of Toombs County Family Connection, says it was a collaborative effort between her organization, the police departments, and Leigh-Anne White and Company.

All of which work closely with the community every day when it comes to prevention, treatment and recovery efforts. Williamson says it’s a four-year grant.

The Vidalia and Lyons Police Departments will get $50,000 per year to pay the clinician they hire.

“This person that is being paid through the grant will have a lot of experience with de-escalation, with handling crisis situations and they can also do case management,” said Wiliamson.

Williamson says the grant opens up for them on September 1.

They have already got the ball rolling, so they hope that each department will have someone hired by October 1.

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