Kindness, not handcuffs: A national model for behavioral-health crisis response

The Seattle Times
April 22, 2022

Editor’s note: The Mental Health Project is a Seattle Times initiative focused on covering mental and behavioral health issues. It is funded by Ballmer Group, a national organization focused on economic mobility for children and families. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over work produced by this team. As part of this project, editorial writer Alex Fryer has been examining issues related to behavioral health and substance use disorders.

As Seattle and other cities explore alternatives to sending officers with guns and badges to interact with people in crisis, one Oregon college town has decades of experience doing just that: Eugene.

Michael Williams and Liz Mitchell of CAHOOTS prep their van before heading out on a 12-hour shift answering mental health and other calls around Eugene.