Co-responding Police-Mental Health Programs: A Review
G. K. Shapiro, A. Cusi, M. Kirst, P. O’Campo, A. Nakhost, V. Stergiopoulos
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Co-responding police-mental health programs are increasingly used to respond to ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons’ in the community; however, there is limited understanding of program effectiveness and the mechanisms that promote program success. The academic and gray literature on co-responding police-mental health programs was reviewed. This review synthesized evidence of outcomes along seven dimensions, and the available evidence was further reviewed to identify potential mechanisms of program success. Co-responding police-mental health programs were found to have strong linkages with community services and reduce pressure on the justice system, but there is limited evidence on other impacts. The relevance of these findings for practitioners and the major challenges of this program model are discussed, and future research directions are identified.
Preliminary findings were presented at the Provincial Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee: 2013 Educational & Training Provincial Conference. November 25–27, 2013, Toronto, Canada.