Community Healthlink Chosen by City of Worcester for New Crisis Response Model
In the new model, a CHL crisis clinical team will respond to certain emergency calls alongside police.
Worcester, MA (May 16, 2022) – UMass Memorial Health – Community Healthlink (CHL) has been selected by the City of Worcester Health and Human Services Division to be its partner for its new “Mental Health Community Crisis Response Model.” In the new model, a CHL crisis team will be dispatched alongside police to certain emergency calls.
“We have a long history of providing mental health and mobile crisis intervention services to the people of Worcester and we are glad we can bring that expertise to the co-response model,” said Community Healthlink President Tamara Lundi. “I want to congratulate the leadership of the City of Worcester for their willingness to pursue innovative solutions to help address the current mental health crisis.”
In formulating the co-response model, the City and CHL looked several established models, including the CAHOOTS program in Eugene, Oregon, which has been operating for more than 30 years.
The City of Worcester has committed $1 million in its 2022 budget to develop the model with CHL.
“As we’ve seen over the past few years, traditional responses to crisis situations often can lead to tragic results,” said Dr. Matilde Castiel, Commissioner for Health and Human Services in Worcester. “We serve a diverse community. Meeting the needs of our residents requires thoughtful solutions. CHL brings an expertise regarding mental health and crisis intervention that we expect will lead to better outcomes for people in crisis.”
CHL has seen an increase in demand for its services during Covid-19.
“People were struggling with mental health even before the pandemic, and the need is even greater now,” said Lundi. “We are facing a community challenge and we look forward to partnering with the City of Worcester and the Worcester Police Department on this forward-thinking solution.”
Representatives from the City of Worcester and CHL will meet soon to outline the plan and timeline for implementation of the co-response model.
About Community Healthlink
Community Healthlink promotes, restores, and maintains the physical health, mental health and wellbeing of more than 22,000 adults, children, and families in central Massachusetts annually. Community Healthlink is part of the UMass Memorial Health System.
UMass Memorial Health
UMass Memorial Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 15,500 employees and2,100 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group and Harrington Physician Services. We are the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Our comprehensive system includes UMass Memorial Medical Center, UMass Memorial Health – Harrington, UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial Health – Marlborough Hospital, and UMass Memorial Health – Community Healthlink. Visit www.ummhealth.org.