AIC Professor Plays Key Role in Developing Guide to Transform Law Enforcement’s Response to Mental Health Crises

Terence Lynn, PhD

Springfield, MA – In a groundbreaking effort to redefine how law enforcement interacts with individuals in mental health crises, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has unveiled its latest publication, the Police-Mental Health Collaboration Framework (PMHC) guide. This comprehensive resource was spearheaded by professionals including American International College (AIC) Associate Professor of Graduate Psychology Terence Lynn, PhD, CAGS, LMHC, during his tenure as the Deputy Division Director of Law Enforcement/Behavioral Health at CSG Justice Center.

The PMHC guide is the final installment in a series of publications under a federal grant from the US Department of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance. It offers a step-by-step playbook for Program Coordinators within law enforcement, behavioral health agencies, and mental health professions. Designed to assist agencies in implementing innovative strategies for responding to individuals in crisis, the guide outlines operational, functional, and sustainable approaches grounded in the PMHC Framework.

“This document is essential,” said Dr. Lynn, who served as one of the original subject matter experts advising on the project. “It empowers Program Coordinators to lead crisis Intervention Teams, Mobile Response Teams, or Co-Response Teams, ensuring a compassionate and effective response to individuals in crisis.”

Emphasizing the necessity for a multi-agency approach, the guide underscores that law enforcement alone cannot adequately address mental health emergencies. With a focus on collaboration between law enforcement and behavioral health partners, the PMHC guide equips agencies of all sizes with the tools needed to enhance their response protocols.

“I am immensely proud of this work,” reflects Dr. Lynn. “It represents years of experience and evidence-based practices, demonstrating that effective crisis response requires comprehensive resources and community partnerships.”

Beyond its practical implications for law enforcement and behavioral health professionals, the guide serves as a valuable resource for master’s and doctoral students in Forensic Psychology and Mental Health Counseling at AIC. These students are poised to benefit from the insights and practices outlined in the PMHC guide as they prepare for careers in law enforcement, counseling, corrections, the courts, and behavioral health systems.

The publication also emphasizes additional career paths available to AIC students in these majors, including professional opportunities in non-governmental organizations that specialize in in-depth policy analysis, research, and evidence-based practices.

In addition, the guide positions AIC as a hub for law enforcement leaders, behavioral health organizations, and communities to seek out further information about ways to create, develop, and implement responses to people in crisis. By fostering collaboration among academia, government agencies, and community organizations, the PMHC guide exemplifies the transformative impact of interdisciplinary efforts in addressing societal challenges.

As Dr. Lynn concludes, “Being part of the team that produced this critical guide was a pleasure, and I am confident that it will pave the way for more compassionate and effective responses to mental health crises across our communities.”

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