Nonprofit startup Concrn has set up an app that is an alternative to 911 to help people in mental health emergencies.
The group dispatches “trained compassionate civilian responders” to deal with the mental health cases.
The service is available in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.
Mental Health Cases
More often than not, the police are not the best people to respond to mental health situations.
The CBS SF Bay Area network, citing a Washington Post report, said: “more than a third of the 168 police shootings in California last year involved suspects that showed signs of mental illness.”
A police officer interviewed by the network said many of the people she meets are struggling with mental problems.
Launched two years ago, the Concrn mobile app enables concerned individuals to connect with the startup’s trained responders.
Since its launching, Concrn said they have attended to 2,000 crisis reports in the Tenderloin area. On a daily basis, the group gets five to 10 crisis reports.
Wide Variety of Backgrounds
Concrn has a seven-person lead responder team, but the startup has other crisis volunteers who help on a weekly basis. Many of the paid responders are from Tenderloin.
The responders have a variety of backgrounds in social work, emergency medical training and other areas.
They are required to go through a 20-hour training session that covers conflict resolution, de-escalation training, and compassionate response.
Concrn Co-executive Director Neil Shah told TechCrunch said once responders arrive on the scene, they determine if they can handle the situation or if it needs to be escalated to the police.
“From there, it’s connecting the person to relevant services, like walking someone to a shelter, retrieving information about them from a case manager and ensuring they get reconnected.”
Create Economic Opportunities
“Our focus has been to create economic opportunities for people in the Tenderloin community who have previously been marginalized or unable to access employment and also people who have experienced their own mental health crisis in the past,” Shah said.
Concrn’s focus is to compassionately assist people involved in mental health emergencies. What are your thoughts on the endeavor?
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