Dealing With Mental Health Crisis One Zoom Call At A Time

In this Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, photo Sheriff's Police Sgt. Bonnie Busching tests a virtual meeting with a tablet at the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff's Office has started putting people having a crisis face to face with mental health professionals before they lash out at deputies or try to harm themselves and to do it they're taking a page out of countless businesses forced hold their meeting virtually. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(AP) — Sheriff’s department officers in one Illinois county are hitting the streets with tablets that can connect people in distress immediately with mental health professionals. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says the Treatment Response Team has been successful bringing calm to the tensest of domestic situations involving people at risk of hurting themselves or others. Using the 70 tablets the department has is as simple as turning them on, handing them to people and letting them talk to a mental health professional whose face appears on the screen. Dart’s office is so pleased with the results that it’s trying to persuade other area police forces to sign on.


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