Wisconsin behavioral health emergency program responds to 935 calls in 1st year

Madison, Wis., released the results of the first year of its Community Alternative Response for Emergency Services program, ABC affiliate KWOW reported Nov. 22. 

CARES is a mobile response team for nonviolent, behavioral health emergency calls related to de-escalation, suicide prevention, risk assessment, trauma care and more. 

In its first year, CARES responded to 935 calls, 19 percent of which were welfare checks. 

The largest percentages of calls were "other behavioral concerns" at 23 percent and "suicide/homicidal thoughts" at 17 percent. 

The program hopes to involve law enforcement and emergency room services as little as possible. To that end, only 3 percent of CARES patients were transferred to police and 18 percent of 724 patients were taken to an emergency room. 

Thirty-six percent of patients were between the ages of 25 and 44. Forty-seven percent were men and fifty-three percent were women. 

Read the full report here.

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