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A Mobile Crisis Program: Collaboration Between Emergency Psychiatric Services and Police
Joseph J. Zealberg; Scott D. Christie; Jackie A. Puckett; Deborah McAlhany; Maria Durban
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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The authors thank Thom Hiers, Ph.D., James C. Ballenger, M.D., and the law enforcement agencies of Charleston County, South Carolina.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29425

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

An emergency psychiatry-mobile crisis program was established in 1987 in Charleston, South Carolina, linking professionals from the mental health center, the university, and the local police department. The program has two goals: to provide emergency psychiatric services to persons in the community and to train psychiatric residents in crisis intervention. Mental health staff act as consultants to the police in some situations, and in others the police provide security. The authors describe the development of the collaboration with police and important features of the program. Three cases illustrate how such collaboration can be of mutual benefit and can save lives.

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