Eskenazi Receives Grant to Expand Assistance Program

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Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis has received a $1.3M grant to expand a program aimed at offering better care for people with substance abuse disorders. The grant will specifically be used to expand the Mobile Crisis Assistance Teams program. The teams are comprised of an IMPD officer and an Eskenazi Health Midtown Mental Health clinician who provide a coordinated response aimed at improving treatment outcomes and help people make informed choices.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the grant during his State of the City address Wednesday night.

“A few short years ago, whenever police responded to a disruption caused by mental illness or substance abuse, the legal response was jail or the emergency room. Both costly and ineffective,” Mayor Hogsett said during his fourth State of the City address. “While I am glad to recognize the work these teams have done over the last 18 months, tonight we also celebrate the work that they will do. These funds will allow us to expand the program, increase hours, and ensure even better continuity of care for clients.”

The $1.3 million in funding comes from the State of Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and will help expand services to focus on the continuity of treatment and peer recovery coaches in all six IMPD districts. 

MCAT began as a pilot program in 2017, and since its launch, 96 percent of interactions with MCAT members have resulted in no arrest. That has led to a 67 percent increase in referrals to the MCAT program rather than immediate detention.  

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