UTPD announces new Mental Health Unit

Members of the UTPD Mental Health Unit. From left to right: Officer Peggy Wells, Officer Divine Peoples, Sgt. Jaime Saenz and Sgt. Douglas Schramm.

The UT Police Department (UTPD) receives over 20 calls per month involving mental health issues or people in crisis. These calls range from suicidal behavior and mental decompensation to stress or anxiety and issues associated with individuals experiencing homelessness. In response to the growing need for mental health resources and assistance in our community, the UTPD is pleased to announce the formation of a Mental Health Unit (MHU).

Launched in March 2022, the MHU consists of 2 sergeants and 3 officers who are the primary resource for such calls for service. Each is highly trained in specialized mental health response techniques. MHU officers wear an alternate uniform and utilize unmarked vehicles, designed to lessen the appearance of a criminal justice response and decrease the stigma associated with mental health. The MHU’s intent is to care for  members of our community in crisis with compassionate, purposeful interactions.

The MHU is working closely with community mental health partners and UT Health San Antonio clinics. The UTPD will continue to develop the MHU through training and partnerships with the goal of positively impacting the university and the medical center area.

UTPD is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Never hesitate to contact the department by dialing 210-567-2800 or 911 for emergencies. UTPD can also be contacted through the UT Health SAfe mobile safety app, available for free download for Apple and Android users.

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