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Kansas City-area mental health nonprofit hiring for more crisis responders

Lee's Summit police officers and mental health co-responders
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 10, 2023

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — ReDiscover, a nonprofit in the Kansas City area, is hiring co-responders for its expanded Mobile Crisis Response Services.

The service partners with local law enforcement to provide crisis intervention to people dealing with a mental health episode.

“We’re bringing services the hospital and clinics provide — we’re bringing it to the home," said Heather Mason, with ReDiscover. "We’re bringing it to that crisis moment so that we can access and refer to the most appropriate level of care.”

Mason oversees the co-responders who work with Grandview, Raytown and Lee's Summit Police Departments.

"They have to wear so many hats, but we’re there to help take this part from them and really provide that extra care and engagement so we can follow people and get them connected to mental health services," Mason said.

People in crisis can call 911 or 988. Co-responders contacted through 988 respond without officers.

According to Mason, between October and the end of December 2022, 200 mental health calls were made to 911. 140 phone calls were made to 988 and 40 callers accepted help.

Mason worked as a co-responder and partnered with police departments in Kansas.

"Sometimes we have to go towards a more restrictive level of care, but our goal on scene is really just talking with that person, de-escalating the situation, accessing for safety and then creating a plan and connecting them to resources from there," Mason said.

Mason said currently there's eight co-responders, but they're budgeted for 15 positions. She said money to pay for the full-time jobs comes from grants.

Applicants are required to have a degree with a mental health background.

“We want to provide the right intervention at the right time for these folks," Mason said.

People interested in careers as a co-responder with the Crisis Response Services can find applications on ReDiscover's website.