Killeen Cares Program Highlighted During Mental Health Awareness Month
Killeen, TX (May 1, 2023): May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we want to remind citizens about our Killeen Cares Program. This program is offered to community members who live with a mental challenge or Autism who want to make officers aware of their special need or condition.
The Killeen Cares Program, launched in May of 2022, provides decals to those who qualify, to let officers know that someone they are approaching may be enrolled in the program so they can respond to the situation accordingly. Officers will use their crisis intervention training to assist in recognizing behaviors that are associated with mental illness, Autism or those in crisis.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness or Autism by a licensed mental health provider is eligible. To enroll, a licensed medical professional who is qualified to diagnose individuals in behavioral health, must complete and submit a Killeen Cares form to the Community Engagement Unit with the Killeen Police Department. The unit will review and contact the resident to complete enrollment. Once the resident receives a decal, he or she should place their decal at the bottom left side of their vehicle’s back windshield or in a window at the front of their home.
More than a dozen community members have enrolled in the program, and we would like to ask the citizens of Killeen, to help spread the word about the program. We have worked with organizations such as Central County Services, the Bell County Free Clinic, Autism Behavioral Support, Advent Health, Baylor Scott & White Health, and the Killeen Autism Center. These organizations have licensed medical professionals trained in the realm of behavioral health and are qualified to diagnose individuals. They have referred families and individuals to participate in the Killeen Cares Program.
“Residents enrolled in the program have been very appreciative, thanking us for making them feel safer,” said Sgt. Angela Mathews, who spearheaded the program. “Officers also say the program is helpful and awareness is key.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 43.8 million people in this country, or one in five adults, suffer from mental health issues annually. During Mental Health Awareness Month, this is a great opportunity to remind citizens about this program.
Medical facilities who would like to participate in the program and be added to the list of providers, can contact Sgt. Mathews at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to be provided the forms for the program.
For more information, citizens can visit the program’s webpage at http://www.killeentexas.gov/KilleenCares.
Killeen Police Department