Mass. towns get $30K grant to fund mental health clinician to respond with police

New grant funding will help police provide services to individuals struggling with mental health or who are in crisis


By Michael Bonner
masslive.com

GRANBY, Mass. — New grant funding will help police in Granby and South Hadley partner with mental health clinicians to provide services to individuals struggling with mental health or who are in crisis.

The town of South Hadley announced last week it received $30,450 in grant funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

That grant was awarded regionally with the Town of Granby and its police department. The grant will fund a mental health clinician to respond with police to calls for service in the communities of South Hadley and Granby. The clinician will be provided by Behavioral Health Network (BHN) which is the regional provider of comprehensive behavioral health services for adults, children and families in South Hadley and Granby.

“This much-needed grant funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health will certainly improve our response and effectiveness when helping our community members in crisis,” South Hadley Police Chief Jennifer Gundersen said in a statement. “The co-responder model, led by a licensed clinician, is the best way to connect our South Hadley community members with the mental health services they deserve.”

The grant period funds the clinician and co-response model from Jan. 1 through June 30. The town said it anticipates that the South Hadley will reapply for funding for fiscal year 2023.

“The Granby Police Department has been working with Behavioral Health Network and all of our officers have attended Crisis Intervention Team Training. This training promoted a co-response model with a licensed clinician and the police to respond to a person in crisis” Granby Police Chief Kevin O’Grady said. “This grant will allow officers to co-respond with a licensed clinician and provide the resident with the mental health services they need, including follow-up assistance.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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