Mental Health in Jail: The Grand Traverse Co. Sheriff’s Office Addresses the Need for Better Services

“If you want to know what’s going on in your community, look at your jail”

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office fully supports the county’s decision to dissolve their partnership with Northern Lakes Community Mental Health.

They feel that the county’s plan to start a new, independent mental health authority could help them focus more on their own people.

Right now, around 40% of their inmates have serious mental health problems.

“I applaud you for going out, stepping out on your own to form a mental health authority for some sort, for the residents in Grand Traverse County,” said Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley.

They said two services they request are a diversion center and a mobile crisis team.

Law enforcement is one area in the county that has been in desperate need of more effective resources for many years now.

“The community recognizes, in our Grand Traverse County, we have a dire issue, we’re not meeting the needs of our people,” said Grand Traverse County Undersheriff Michael Shay.

They hope a new mental health authority will provide their inmates with more support.