One of the biggest topics of conversation right now is the availability of mental health services. As the pandemic continues to rage on, mental health has definitely suffered for people all over the country. But for the victims of crime, having access to proper mental health services can be critical to recovery. And for police officers who work in high-stress services proper mental health is imperative to good policing. And now, the Bloomsdale Township Mental Health Board has awarded a grant to Rosedale Police Department to fund services.
Mental Health Services Are Really Important: They Can Save Lives
Here’s how this will work: This grant which is the third grant awarded for this purpose since 2019, will fund services. It will ensure that a counselor is on-duty 7 days a week. It also allows for Rosedale PD officials to extend current counselor hours from 40 hours per week to 60 hours.
Police Chief Steve Herron, who applied for this grant, spoke on the importance of this award:
I always thought that mental health services should be part of the department. I’m happy to be the catalyst for that and I think this is a step in the right direction.”
The current counselor on staff, Colleen Martinez, has been on staff for Rosedale PD part-time since 2019. Ms. Martinez was able to be brought on as a result of an initial grant. Now, she can be on duty full-time for the department. She offers counseling as well as follow-up calls for victims in the village including:
- Victims of domestic violence
- Mental illness
- Child/elder abuse
- Crisis intervention
- Sexual abuse
- Substance abuse
- Youth and family issues
This can be especially important when you consider how critical all of these situations are, and how often police are not trained in how to handle these situations.
Even More Benefits To Having a Counselor On Staff
Martinez is also in the field 2-3 times a week responding to calls. This can be especially important because according to ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE 2018 report, up to 10% of police interactions include a civilian with a mental health disorder. Because an officer is 4.5 times more likely to use force in these types of situations, having a trained counselor present can actually save lives.
The grant will also include funding for an additional counselor for about 24-hours a week, as well as for a clinical psychiatrist for department employees.
Mental health is important, which is why we have an entire category for mental health grants on GrantWatch. This category includes grants to go to nonprofits, organizations, clinicians, researchers as well as any other eligible health professional.