The City of Tulsa 911 Mental Health Collaborative connects non-emergent mental health-related 911 calls to a mental health crisis expert by embedding a mental health professional within the 911 dispatch center. This rapidly links callers to mental health clinicians and avoids costly activation of first responders.
The Collaborative is a partnership between the Tulsa Police Department, the city’s 911 Public Safety Communications Department, Family & Children’s Services Community Outreach Psychiatric Services (COPES) and the Tulsa Area United Way.
This innovation program has cleared 14 percent of the 170 callers since last fall and diverted 15 percent of callers from 911 to a COPES professional. The Collaborative plans to expand the program, and COPES is uniquely positioned to answer the 988 suicide hotline expected to start service in July of 2022.
“Partnering with Family & Children’s Services and having immediate access to mental health professionals gives 911 dispatchers and first responders the ability to provide additional resources and aid to help the community,” said Belinda McGhie, City of Tulsa 911 PSC systems manager.
The COPES program is one of five Innovation Grants given by Tulsa Area United Way in 2020. Learn more about Social Innovation Grants.