Mental health worker to partner with Maplewood police

A Ramsey County mental health worker will be embedded with Maplewood police and other first responders in an effort to “decriminalize mental illness.”

The Ramsey County Board approved the move Tuesday, assigning one of its mental health professionals to work full time with the suburb’s police, fire and ambulance service.

“We need to decriminalize mental health issues and this is the way to do it,” said Maplewood Mayor Marylee Abrams. “If we can get early intervention with health and human services resources, hopefully we can make a lasting change in peoples’ lives and help them avoid going into full-blown crisis.”

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