How do you prevent a situation from spiraling out of control into a full crisis? This is a question we often ask ourselves when we think of first responders and individuals living with mental illness. We came up with a simple idea to help reduce the negative impact of a response, food and follow up information.
The idea is to create small bags, gallon size plastic storage bags, which have food and resource information. We teamed up with Roadrunner food bank to help create this new innovative program. These bags are pliable and easy to put in police cruisers and fire vehicles, where space is limited.
Each bag contains food items that would account for a meal, water, and a resource guide. The resource guide has follow up information for help in food, medical, mental health, counseling, housing, and more.
This is a very exciting time as we create a program that could be modeled by all first responder agencies. This gives first responders a resource to immediately help someone in need and slow their response by having options. I want to thank Wal-Mart who gave us a small community grant to help kick-start this program. This is currently being done with in the Albuquerque Police Department’s Southeast area command.
I want to thank the APD’s CIU and COAST teams for helping out with packing the bags and getting them out to officers! This could not have been done with out the amazing and great people who have donated to us!