Training begins for Bexar County’s new mental health program

Training begins for Bexar County’s new mental health program

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County is developing a new mental health program following Damian Daniel’s death. The combat veteran was shot and killed by a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Aug. 25. The call was dispatched as a mental health call. “Judge Wolff had approached our department, after the tragic death of Mr. Daniels on the circumstances of what could be done to give the deputies the ability to have a mental health person go out and respond rather than a deputy on some of these circumstances to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening,” said Mike Lozito, director for the Office of Criminal Justice Bexar County. The Office of Criminal Justice is partnering with STRAC, Center for Health Care Services, Acadian Ambulance and the Bexar County’s Sheriff’s Office. Dispatchers will be on the front lines of identifying mental health calls and making sure those are routed to the new unit. “The pilot program is a way to offer an alternative response model to low level, nonviolent mental health-related 911 calls. The goal being to be able to provide a clinician and a trained paramedic at the initial time of the call,” said Sarah Hogan, division director for Southwest Texas Crisis Collaborative at STRAC. A deputy will only respond to the scene if they’re needed. STRAC will keep track of how the program is doing. “People in mental health crisis are at their most vulnerable state at the time of that 911 call and for our community to be able ...
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