Mayor John Cooper

NASHVILLE, TN (TN Tribune) – Mayor John Cooper seeks more federal funding for Nashville’s 911 emergency co-response efforts, as latest results show the city’s new model is an early success. Metro Nashville has applied for a technical assistance package for its Partners in Care pilot, to add a second co-responder pairing – this time, a non-law enforcement duo that could instead include a medic and a mental health clinician. “Community challenges require community solutions,” Mayor Cooper said. “I’m proud of our early success in ensuring neighbors in crisis find the help they need. I’m grateful to the community partners who are working alongside us, and I’m committed to doing more.” The mayor launched Nashville Partners in Care in June 2021, with just more than half-a-million dollars in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars and invested an additional $3 million to bolster the city’s mental and behavioral health resources. Since the June launch, emergency responders have so far assisted 821 people, arresting less than 4 percent of these residents and instead connecting them to crisis support services – including in-patient mental health care – according to a Wednesday report by the Metro Nashville Public Health Department. About Partners in CareNo wrong door – a standard for connecting individuals to care when experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis – guides Nashville’s first responder system.  In June 2021, Metro Nashville launched Partners in Care, to place mental health clinicians in police cars with Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) officers in two precincts – North and Hermitage. The purpose of this pilot is to connect individuals to health care and services while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of community members, police officers, emergency medical responders and clinicians. Once the Partners in Care team is called to the scene, MNPD officers stabilize the situation so that clinicians from the Mental Health Cooperative can assess the individuals and connect them to the behavioral health care they need.  Metro Public Health monitors pilot progress and manages the third-party evaluation. This is a research-based method for responding to individuals in crisis that relies on de-escalation techniques used globally, with roots from a Memphis program begun more than three decades ago.