How Mental Health First Responders in an Oregon City “De-escalate” Conflict and Save Lives

This article tells the story of CAHOOTS — Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets — a program run by a social services center in Eugene, Oregon to respond to law enforcement crises. When 911 calls come in, those that involve suicide threats, homelessness, substance abuse and other mental health-adjacent crises are diverted away from law enforcement and over to CAHOOTS’ teams consisting of an EMT and a mental health counselor.

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