New program in Cayuga gives law enforcement access to remote mental health services

CAYUGA, N.Y. – New efforts are in place for mental health services in Cayuga County.

The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office says they’re implementing a new program in which a road patrol deputy will have an iPad to access remote mental health services with a licensed professional, to help those in crisis.

Officials say the remote evaluations provide a more positive interaction with law enforcement as well.

Beginning Saturday, April 29, when a deputy responds to a mental health crisis, a video chat using the iPad can be used if needed. Other benefits include cutting the cost of a hospital visit for the patient and freeing up deputies and emergency room staff and space.

This program is currently only available to citizens in Cayuga County from 8 a.m. to midnight. Law enforcement hopes to have the program available 24 hours a day in the future.

Officials say the program is in collaboration with Cayuga County Mental Health, library resources, the NYS Office of Mental Health and Institute for Police, and Mental Health and Community Collaboration.