Officers, paramedic, aid person suffering mental health crisis in Redwood City

Officers, paramedic aid person suffering mental health crisis in Redwood City

in Community

A report of a person holding some type of gun in Redwood City today turned out to be a female individual suffering from a mental health crisis who was holding a cellphone, not a firearm, according to the Redwood City Police Department.

The incident, which unfolded in the 200 block of Allerton Street, led to the deployment of a County de-escalation program that aims to support people in mental distress, police said. The incident unfolded in the 200 block of Allerton Street. When they responded, officers used de-escalation and Crisis Intervention Training to connect with her, and they learned there was no crime involved. The individual “expressed she was having a mental health crisis and had a desire to speak with a mental health professional,” police said.

“Officers were able to connect her with the San Mateo County Mental Health Assessment and Referral Team (SMART) for transport and further treatment at San Mateo County Hospital,” police said.

The SMART program features paramedics who are trained in mental health. Paramedics in the program are cleared of the need to rush patients to a hospital and return to service quickly. That allows them to be available to interview family members or friends of a patient, contact the patient’s therapist and conduct an assessment to determine the best course of action, according to the County.

“The SMART program is seen as a less expensive, more effective and more humane way to care for patients exhibiting signs of mental illness or undergoing a crisis,” the County said.

More information on the program can be found here.

Photos courtesy of the Redwood City Police Department