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Beaumont Police Department training some officers to better respond to mental health calls

It's no secret that the last year was rough for a lot of people. That lead to an increased number of mental health calls.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont Police Department says they're putting in the work to help our neighbors when they can't help themselves.

It's no secret that the last year was rough for a lot of people. That lead to an increased number of mental health calls. The Beaumont Police Department is now providing new training, so officers will know how to respond.

One of the first phone calls we make when things get to be too much is to our first responders.

The Beaumont Police Department says they take that seriously and have implemented a new training course that will help ensure their responses to mental health calls are safe and effective.

“I just wish there was something I can do to change it or I could start over, but you know it's just something I have to deal with for the rest of my life,” said Rebecca Kerr.

Ker hasn't had it easy. In 2004, her son passed away.

“He drowned in the river in Lakeview here in Vidor,” Ker said.

Last year, she lost her mother and it got to be too much for her mental health, and she resorted to alcohol.

“I wanted to commit suicide. I didn't care who was around I didn't care what was going on,” she said.

Ker reached out to authorities for help and is thankful she was able to find some.

Agencies around the state are learning to respond to cases like Ker’s

“Sometimes, police officers are the go between to let people know there's help out there,” Beaumont Police officer Haley Morrow told 12News.

Beaumont Police are offering a new training course that uses real-life scenarios and role play to help officers respond effectively to mental health calls.

“We go out to our range facility and we go through different scenarios dealing with different types of situations,” Morrow said.

Already, 50 Beaumont Police officers have finished the 40 hour curriculum taught in five consecutive days. So, if things get too tough, officers will be able to help like they did for Ker.

“When I need them, they're there,” Ker said. She is encouraging others to reach out, too.

The Beaumont Police Department has also partnered with the Spindletop Center to help make resources easily accessible for those dealing with their mental health.

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