The Behavioral Response Unit (BRU) is a partnership between Beth Israel Lahey Health Emergency Psychiatric Services and the Haverhill Police Department. The BRU is comprised of teams of a paired a mental health clinician and a sworn police officer who are available to co-respond to calls for service that relate to mental illness and assess individuals who pose a risk to themselves, the public or law enforcement.
The objective of the BRU is diversion from emergency departments for behavioral health crises. With this disposition of diversion, there is the opportunity for the individual to be recommended to appropriate community-based services such as, community stabilization services, partial hospitalization programs, urgent psychopharmacology, medication assisted treatments, structured outpatient addiction programs, detox and step-down services. Services are recommended based upon mental health concerns, precipitating factors, availability of services and willingness to engage in programming. .
The BRU outreaches and collaborates with community-based providers in different areas of discipline to help and build and improve relationships in the Haverhill and Merrimack Valley area. The BRU acts as a liaison between mental health professionals, the courts, hospitals, and community resources to individuals that experience behavioral health crises.
The BRU strives to decrease the frequency of negative contacts with law enforcement for individuals with mental health interactions. This can be accomplished by cross-training of the patrol officers and the mental health clinician to lead to a greater understanding of different agencies' subcultures as well as recognition of behavioral health crises and appropriate de-escalation techniques. The BRU is committed to reducing the revolving door process of patients being discharged from hospital emergency rooms, who are then later readmitted due to a lack of available care in the community.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org . You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741.