How the CRT helped prevent a suicide (News on 6)
Tulsa is losing precious lives to suicide and untreated mental illness. We have one of the nation’s highest rates of mental illness and rank 15th for suicide. State funding for mental healthcare has declined resulting in under-resourced early intervention and treatment options.
The launch of an innovative collaboration, the Community Response Team (CRT), is a partnership between Family & Children’s Services, Tulsa Fire Department, Tulsa Police Department and the Mental Health Association. CRT provides crisis response services to 911 calls with an eye towards ongoing mental health support. CRT’s approach is designed to de-escalate crisis, reduce risk and provide safe support for the client.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said, “Community Response Teams are a great example of our approach to problem-solving: breaking down the old parochial silos and bringing together the best experts in our community to address a specific need. I am thankful for the United Way’s strong support of this innovative program and am eager for us to serve even more Tulsans in need over the year ahead.”
In the first 6 months the CRT was in operation, 80 mental health emergencies dispatched to CRT were for suicide calls. Not one of those individuals died by suicide. By working together, the CRT was able to rapidly assess these individuals, stabilize them – often in place – and connect them to continued treatment and support. That’s 80 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who are still alive, thanks to the work of the CRT.
The CRT saves lives, money, improves care and increases public safety by creating a more effective delivery system for crisis mental healthcare.