First responders learn to help the mentally ill [Video]

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Plans designed to help people struggling with mental illness and keep them from having to use emergency services – or end up jailed – have met with praise from first responders. Emergency personnel regard the new programs as welcome and much-needed.

Dallas Fire-Rescue is designing new response teams that will have special training in dealing with mental illness. Officers have explained that the new approach will help them do their jobs, by keeping people suffering from illness out of systems designed to get violent criminals off the streets.

Dealing with specialized cases using methods outside of the emergency response framework will free up resources that can go back into police, fire and EMS. Therefore, improving mental health care is a win-win.

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