Waco, TX (FOX 44)-
Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, 9-1-1 dispatchers and all first responders often see the worst tragedies–but who helps those who are sworn to serve and protect all of us?
“Those flood of memories, those voices, those things that you heard. It always comes back,” says Waco PD’s 9-1-1 dispatch manager, Susie Murray.
For first responders, it’s difficult to leave work at work.
“It’s hard because it…becomes part of who you who you are,”
Murray says a new state-funded program will soften the emotional toll placed on 911 dispatchers–and connect those going through a mental health crisis to even better care.
“It’s tailored to the specific need, which is great because then it will divert to the correct party and, you know, help our community,” says Murray.
The program is called ‘The Heart of Texas Crisis Call Diversion’ program. It works to divert police by connecting those who call 9-1-1 in mental health crisis to appropriate community-based resources.
“It’s makes us able to help them, give them resources to escalate the call–in hopes that we don’t have to send out police,” says Murray.
The program ties in the benefits of law enforcement and health care.
“It’s an opportunity for us to bring together these separate entities and work together for the betterment of the community,” Murray says.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 1-866-752-3451 where a clinician will be available to speak with you Monday-Friday from 3p.m. to 11 p.m