KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office and Camden Police Department have a new method of responding to mental health calls, as they've officially welcomed a clinician.
"Getting to know that person and their family and seeing what's been going on, what is going on," says Christina Miller, Law Enforcement Embedded Clinician in Kershaw County.
It's something she's excited to take on after spending a few weeks training under the Clinician for Richland County, as she feels it could be extremely successful in Kershaw.
"She can come in and assist us, and very quickly, probably much quicker than we can, de-escalate a situation, and for her to be there and do that is going to we feel, we believe and expect to see less arrests for people that are in this type of situation, and what I think well see as well as with her ability to follow up with families and people, preventing future incidents for law enforcement," says Penny Lloyd, Luitentant of Investigations for Camden Police Department.
Miller will spend 5 days a week within the departments focusing on three plans, Safety, Resources, and Assessments.
"In that level of Care assessment, you're seeing is this a situation where this person is a danger to themselves or others, so we're looking at that and your seeing is this something where we can have someone voluntarily go into a program they feel will benefit them," Miller adds.
"And Then their safety planning; what are the supports you have, what are the supports you need, and then there are resources and not just hey here is a phone number to call it, but I'm going to place this referral through the department of mental health for you to have outpatient counseling and then that clinician is going to reach out to you, and schedule an intake and then following up to make sure that those things happen," she adds.
Any resources provided to the individuals they respond to are also free.