Since the onset of the pandemic many people have been isolated in their homes. Following this an explosion of suicidal cases and mental health crises have faced the Cook County Police Department in Chicago, Illinois. To respond to such crises, they began employing a radical new way of intervention: tablets and Zoom calls. When Cook County Sheriff Police Sgt. Bonnie Busching saved a suicidal man in his home with this new way, requesting him to talk with the woman on the device, she was in disbelief. “When I saw how this tool pacified him, I was like, holy smokes, this is incredible,” Busching said. Urban traffic conditions often make it difficult to get a therapist on site in time and officers sometimes are not fully equipped to deal with certain crises situations. “We wanted a tool for the officers to get that mental health expert on the scene immediately,” said Elli Petaque-Montgomery, the team director. With the efficacy of the new approach, the department purchased 70 tablets and expanded their team of health professional team to eight therapists and assisting team members whom are available on call.

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