Tulsa Police Have New Safe Place To Take People Dealing With Mental Health Crisis

Thursday, December 17th 2020, 5:50 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa leaders are working to improve how police officers help those dealing with mental health issues.

Officers can now take people who need help the CrisisCare Center near Houston and Highway 75 in downtown Tulsa.

Tulsa Police said instead of officers driving all over trying to find a space for someone going through a mental health crisis, they can bring that person to the center, where they will work to get them the help they need.

The expanded CrisisCare Center near OSU Medical Center near downtown now has an entrance for officers and more treatment beds.

TPD Chief Wendell Franklin said it's a collaboration with Family and Children's Services and this will serve as a one-stop facility for Tulsans in need.

"Our officers will be able to quickly drop off that individual to a clinician. That clinician will then work to find the proper care for that individual in mental health crisis," Franklin said.

Franklin said it changes the dynamic of how they do things. Now, officers will be able to get people help faster.

"Local community leaders in Tulsa are committed to building a more robust system, as we know inadequate crisis care takes a toll on community resources and can often result in human tragedy," Family and Children's Services CEO Gail Lapidus said.

Lapidus said this is a critical piece of a successful mental health system. She said not only will people get help faster, but they've expanded the center's capacity dramatically so more people get that care.

Lapidus and Franklin said this is just the start.

"I can't wait to see what this collaboration brings, I know it will bring and spark additional collaboration, so we're excited for you, we're excited for Tulsa," Franklin said.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said the city is seeing an increase in mental health crisis because of the pandemic and local economy. He said he believes this will be a crucial service in this trying time.