Please support HB 2417, regarding matching grants for mobile crisis intervention teams. My community needs a mobile crisis intervention team to address mental illness, homelessness, and other challenges. Here's why:
A proven success story: We know these teams work, based on the decades of experience by the nationally-recognized mobile crisis intervention team known as CAHOOTS in Eugene. The program mobilizes two-person teams consisting of a medic (a nurse, paramedic, or EMT) and a crisis worker who has substantial training and experience in the mental health field. They handle a wide range of mental health-related crises, including conflict resolution, welfare checks, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and more, relying on trauma-informed de-escalation and harm reduction techniques. CAHOOTS is being replicated in cities like Portland and is currently under consideration in Salem.
Saves lives: A November 2016 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine estimated that 20% to 50% of fatal encounters with law enforcement involved an individual with a mental illness. The CAHOOTS model demonstrates that these fatal encounters are not inevitable.
Saves money: By handling non-emergent medical issues in the field, mobile crisis teams avoid costly ambulance transport and emergency room treatment. CAHOOTS estimates saving the City of Eugene approximately eight million dollars per year in public safety spending.
The right tool for the right job: Out of 24,000 calls to CAHOOTS in a recent year, only 150 calls resulted in them calling for police back-up.