Local Crisis Center Aids Police In Mental Health Calls

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

WACO (December 4, 2013) With the opening of the new MHMR Crisis treatment facility at 301 Londonderry Dr. in Waco, comes a sigh of relief from police officers across Central Texas.

The 16-bed facility serves as a residential mental health treatment facility, is open around the clock to the public, and serves Bosque, Hill, Freestone, Limestone, McLennan, and Hill Counties.

The facility primarily sees low-risk cases ranging anywhere from suicidal, psychosis, depression, and anxiety.

They are cases many officers in Central Texas are familiar with.

Responding to mental health calls can keep some officers off of patrol for hours on end.

Traditionally, when responding to such calls, police usually take that person to a local ER for a mental assessment if there are no criminal charges involved.

Where wait times according to Jessica Raddin, one of the facility’s managers, can be a pain.

“Mental health is certainly something that impacts our area greatly," Raddin said.

“Officers who would transport patients to the ER may have to wait 4 to 6 hours on average until their patient was taken off their hands by someone there.”

The MHMR Crisis Treatment Facility opened Nov, 18. Instead of taking patients to the ER, officers can now take them to the facility, where they don’t have to wait as long.

“Our goal for law enforcement wait time would be an hour or less, which as you can tell is much different from what it traditionally would have been," Raddin said.

Raddin says officers have been heavily utilizing the new MHMR facility since its opening.

Long term, she says it will aid in the increase of police visibility for the community.

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