A jail diversion program that provides mental health clinicians to assist police in six North Shore communities will continue another year as a result of a recent grant.
The state Department of Mental Health awarded Beverly $200,000to fund the initiative for this fiscal year. The grant funds the cost of two full-time clinicians who respond with police officers in Beverly, Ipswich, Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport. on calls involving individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues.
The goal of the initiative is to divert those individuals from arrest and instead help direct them to treatment programs.
Beverly was initially awarded a grant from the Department of Mental Health in 2019 to hire a clinician for the city, but the program has since been expanded to two clinicians serving the six communities.
“It’s important to divert individuals with behavioral health issues away from the criminal justice system,” said Beverly Mayor Michael P. Cahill, “and toward appropriate treatment and recovery services.”
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.