Mental Health: Crisis Response

I love the Opt Ed section of the paper. I believe we all need to write at least one letter on something we’re passionate about in our lifetime. In saying that, I applaud this reader

I read Alex Fryer’s column “Kindness, not handcuffs: A national model for behavioral-health crisis response” about Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets (CAHOOTS) with a smile on my face and hope in my heart [April 24, Opinion].

I received CAHOOTS services when I was homeless in Eugene, Oregon. A few years later, I was mentioned in a Register-Guard article profiling CAHOOTS’ work in great detail when it was on the brink of being included in national mental-health legislation. It is now part of President Joe Biden’s mental-health plan.

Having moved back to Seattle in 2015, I had some quality time with Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis when he first began examining options for addressing street homelessness and mental-health needs. Since then, I have been invited to train CAHOOTS staff as a person with lived experience. I testified in support of House Bill 1477 when crisis services were debated during the last Legislative session in Olympia.

Seattle deserves to dive in and create a model of its own modeled on CAHOOTS. I would vote for that. Mental Health Month is upon us. It would do us well to ask recipients of behavioral health services their thoughts.

Laura Van Tosh, Seattle

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