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Reps. Zawistowski and Storms Join Local Police and Officials to Announce a North Central Regional Collaboration to Address Mental Health Emergencies

Posted on November 2, 2018 by admin


SUFFIELD – State Representatives Tami Zawistowski (R-61) and Scott Storms (R-60) joined Community Health Resources (CHR) and command staff representatives from the Suffield, East Granby, Windsor Locks and East Windsor Police Departments and local officials to announce a new initiative to effectively address mental health emergencies.

The collaborative effort between the departments is made possible through a five year $1.65 million federal grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). The goals of the North Central Co-Responder Team Collaboration are to promote diversion form the criminal justice system, strengthen officer responses, promote officer safety and reduce use of force, and promote community awareness of available resources.

Rep. Zawistowski commented, “The Town of Suffield and surrounding communities have been experiencing increased demand for mental health services related to emotional distress and substance abuse, and this includes our veterans. This grant would help increase the availability of crisis intervention and expanded community-based services through CHR for those in need of urgent mental health and addiction services, reduce arrests, promote better health, and potentially save those individuals and those around them from harm.”

“I am very excited to see this new collaboration between police departments in the region and CHR. Mental health and substance abuse emergencies have been increasing and impact all of our communities,” said Rep. Storms. “Over the past two years as State Representative I have been doing my part to shine a light on these difficult issues and connect people and resources by hosting forums on the opioid crisis, suicide prevention and senior depression. Local care providers and the Windsor Locks Police Department have been incredible partners in raising awareness. The resources unlocked by this federal grant and the new regional cooperation will make a real difference and hopefully save lives.”

The new collaboration will serve a population of over 34,000 adults in the four towns and add an embedded behavioral health clinician to assist the departments.