Co-responding Police-Mental Health Programs: A Review

  • G. K. Shapiro
  • A. Cusi
  • M. Kirst
  • P. O’Campo
  • A. Nakhost
  • V. Stergiopoulos
Original Article


Co-responding police-mental health programs are increasingly used to respond to ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons’ in the community; however, there is limited understanding of program effectiveness and the mechanisms that promote program success. The academic and gray literature on co-responding police-mental health programs was reviewed. This review synthesized evidence of outcomes along seven dimensions, and the available evidence was further reviewed to identify potential mechanisms of program success. Co-responding police-mental health programs were found to have strong linkages with community services and reduce pressure on the justice system, but there is limited evidence on other impacts. The relevance of these findings for practitioners and the major challenges of this program model are discussed, and future research directions are identified.


Co-responding police-mental health programs Community outreach Mobile crisis response Psychiatric service organization and delivery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. K. Shapiro
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Cusi
    • 1
  • M. Kirst
    • 1
    • 4
  • P. O’Campo
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. Nakhost
    • 5
    • 6
  • V. Stergiopoulos
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge InstituteSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry (ICFP), Lady Davis InstituteJewish General HospitalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Mental Health ServicesSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada

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