The Forensic Intervention Team (FIT) is a program of Monroe County Office of Mental Health (MCOMH) that operates 24/7 in collaboration with the 11 law enforcement agencies in Monroe County. FIT partners MCOMH clinicians directly with law enforcement to assist individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis who come to the attention of law enforcement.
The goal is to de-escalate crisis situations, offer the least restrictive level of care safely and effectively, and provide appropriate referrals. Successful interventions will assist in decreasing unnecessary hospitalizations and incarcerations. This model allows law enforcement agencies and FIT clinicians to work together with the common goal of providing the best options for individuals living with mental illness and substance use disorders in our communities.
- FIT clinicians are equipped with police radios and are automatically dispatched to most psychiatric 911 calls in the county outside the city of Rochester as the city's PIC team covers calls in the city. Officers/Deputies can also request FIT through dispatch to respond to a given address. FIT clinicians always stage until police have arrived and cleared the scene for safety. At this time, FIT calls are only generated by 911 or law enforcement, not by community request.
- The FIT clinician assists the individual by completing a mental health screening, obtaining relevant psychiatric and substance use history, as well as collateral from family and other professionals providing care to the individual, and will formulate a course of action for the individual.
- If it is determined that the individual requires immediate psychiatric evaluation, the Offcer/Deputy and FIT clinician coordinate for the individual to be transported to the hospital, either voluntarily or involuntarily per Mental Hygiene Law.
- If it is determined that transport to a hosptial is not necessary, FIT clinicians can safety plan in the moment with individuals, coordinate, and consider alternative interventions, such as utilization of diversion and/or other local behavioral health resources.
- Follow-up requests are generated by law enforcement or by FIT clinician assessment of need. Follow-up is short-term, connection-focused and is initiatied as soon as possible after a crisis situation.
- Follow-up can include connection with the hospital or service providers, phone calls, and/or in-person contact with the client.
- In cases where a client has pre-existing linkages to providers in the community, the providers will be the ones to reach out to the client for follow-up.
Contact information for questions:
Alexandra Lang-Bentley - [email protected]