SANDAG: How local law enforcement agencies are handling mental health calls since beginning of the pandemic

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A new SANDAG InfoBits report examines how law enforcement agencies in the San Diego region are managing mental health calls for service (MH CFS) since the COVID-19 stay home order began earlier this year.

With the support of local law enforcement and local mental health experts, Dr. Cynthia Burke and the SANDAG Research and Program Management team compiled data focused on how uncertainty and social isolation associated with the current health crisis may be affecting individuals and public safety reform.

Some of the findings include; in May 2020, local law enforcement received 106 calls on average per day, compared to an average of 100 per day in all of 2019.

One in three adults arrested have ever had a mental health diagnosis, 1 in 4 have stayed overnight in a mental health facility, and 1 in 5 have attempted suicide.

In 2019, the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team clinicians conducted 35,088 contacts in the community and provided 12,330 crisis interventions – daily averages of 96 and 34, respectively.

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