Mental health clinicians will start answering some Chicago 911 calls


CHICAGO (WGN) — Mental health professionals will soon begin responding to some Chicago 911 calls instead of Chicago police.

The change is part of two pilot programs launching this fall that will pair mental health clinicians with paramedics.

In one program, clinicians will be dispatched with paramedics for behavioral health calls. In the second, the program will use paramedics and recovery specialists on calls involving substance abuse.

The move follows several high profile cases including Daniel Prude, who died after Rochester police officers placed a mesh hood over his head and pinned him to the ground while he was having a mental health episode.

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