NEW LENOX, IL — To assist police when they encounter someone in need of mental health services, Trinity Services, Inc.’s Family Counseling Center has entered into a partnership with the Orland Park Police Department to provide counseling on an as-needed basis.
The partnership began at the beginning of the year and is part of the OPPD’s involvement in the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s One Mind Campaign that seeks to improve relationships between police officers and people affected by mental illness.
The partnership between police and mental health counselors is important because one in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetimes, and police departments are receiving increasingly more calls related to persons exhibiting symptoms of mental illness, according to Bonnie Hassan, director of Trinity’s Family Counseling Center.
After police respond to a mental health-related call — with at least one officer trained to respond to mental health issues on each shift — officers complete a referral and submit it to the Family Counseling Center. A counselor will then contact the person within 24 hours and schedule a session within 48 hours.
Counselors call those who are referred a minimum of three times, and if a person declines services or does not respond, the Family Counseling Center sends the person a letter detailing the services that are available — up to six free therapy sessions a year, as part of the partnership.
Since the launch of the partnership in January, the Family Counseling Center has received 24 referrals from the OPPD.
“Our goal is to make sure that people have the mental health treatment they need and decrease the need for police intervention because they have access to more appropriate resources,” Hassan said.
Family Counseling Center staff members are available to OPPD officers 24 hours per day through an on-call system. Family Counseling Center staff members also provide on-site consultation when requested by an OPPD officer.
In addition to providing mental health services through the partnership, in January, Trinity Services trained approximately 80 OPPD officers on autism.
Trinity’s Family Counseling Center offers evidenced-based psychological services for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families in individual and group formats in English and Spanish. It has four Chicagoland locations. Its mission is to strengthen family life, foster healthy personal development, and enable people to live responsibly, compassionately and safely. Family Counseling Center staff members include licensed counselors, psychologists and social workers. The Family Counseling Center also serves as a training facility, offering twelve-month internship and practicum experiences to students.
Trinity Services, Inc. is a 67-year-old, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness flourish and live full and abundant lives. Trinity serves more than 3,500 people in 31 communities in Will, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Peoria, Madison, Jackson and St. Clair counties, and Reno, Nevada. To learn more, visit www.trinity-services.org.
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Trinity Services, Inc.