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Daicia Price Quoted in Crain’s Detroit About Police Department Mental Health Units

May 14, 2024

Clinical Associate Professor Daicia Price is quoted in a Crain’s Detroit article on the challenges in creating specialized units to respond to mental health emergency calls. The Detroit Police Department, which created a mental health unit at the end of 2022, received over 16,000 calls last year that involved someone in mental distress — or more than 43 calls per day. That unit has grown to 22 officers, three sergeants, a lieutenant and six behavioral health specialists. But finding social workers and psychologist to work in these units is a challenge. Michigan is facing a shortage of mental health professonals and, as Price noted, these community programs simply can’t compete with private practice. 

“We were providing training to co-responders, and they went out in the field and found out it wasn’t suitable,” Price said. “They can go into private practice or the private sector and make $30,000 more with half the responsibilities. How do we train behavioral health individuals to be in these settings and make sure they deliver that public service and compensated the way they should when they can sit in an office with people with milder disorders and make more money?”

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