Mental Health Division
In 2013 the Mental Health Unit was elevated to a division in recognition of the importance of this issue to the department and the public. Police and mental health clinicians assigned to the Mental Health Division provide assistance to consumers through various programs. This division is the department liaison with the mental health community in the area.
Responding to individuals in serious mental health crises continues to be a complex and challenging issue facing law enforcement today. The department, in collaboration with community mental health professionals and advocates, allocates unprecedented manpower and resources to ensure Houston officers respond as professionally, humanely, and safely as possible to individuals in serious mental health crises. As a result, Houston has become the leading law enforcement agency in the State of Texas and one of the national leaders in this effort. Houston is one of six police departments nationally selected by the United States Council of State Governments as a learning site for specialized programs for responding to the mentally ill.
Police and mental health clinicians assigned to the Mental Health Division provide assistance to consumers through various programs. This division is the department liaison with the mental health community in the area. Police and mental health clinicians assigned to the Mental Health Division provide assistance to consumers through various programs, some of which include:
Crisis Intervention Response Team, which partners officers with a masters‐level licensed professional clinicians from the Harris Center, deployed in the call for service loop to assist patrol officers with responses to individuals suffering serious mental health crises;
Homeless Outreach Team, which partners officers and mental health case managers to engage in street outreach to the chronically homeless, with the goal of moving them into temporary, short or longer term housing;
Crisis Intervention Training, which provides 40 hours of training to officers; and
Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative, which provides mental health case managers for those whose continual mental health crises have resulted in frequent calls to HPD.
CSG Justice Center Announces Six Law Enforcement Agencies Become National
"Learning Sites" on Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses
Selected were the Houston(TX) Police Department, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department, Madison (WI) Police Department, Portland (ME) Police Department, Salt Lake City (UT) Police Department, and University of Flordia Police Department.