Myrtle Beach Police Initiative Puts Mental Health In The Spotlight

MYRTLE BEACH SC (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach Police Department is paying attention to Mental Health Awareness Monday in May to showcase many of the services available.

The community initiative, launched last year to help improve mental health and well-being in the community, is a collaboration between the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health and the police.

Health alliance partner Sachi Baird, a mental health professional, assists agents when they respond to mental health crises or situations.

“One of the ways we do our very best and use our due diligence is that I go to the emergency room with that person and sit with them, trying to keep them calm,” Baird said.

Baird also helps educate new recruits about the mental illnesses they may come into contact with on the job.

“I teach them how to tell the difference between someone who has severe symptoms of mental illness and someone who may be under the influence of, say, a stimulant,” Baird said. “What should those things look out for so they can tell the difference.”

Myrtle Beach Police Master Cpl. Tom Vest said the partnership came about because agents are in constant contact with people who suffer from mental illness.

Having a mental health professional who can connect with those individuals who need help is a big deal for the department, he said.

“It reduces the number of people going to jail,” Vest said. “It gives people the treatment they need for long-term care.”

Baird is also available to anyone who is not in a crisis situation.

“You just feel like you want to talk to someone just to get over a rough time or to find out what resources are in the community, not just for yourself but for a loved one, you are more then welcome to give me a call, or you can walk into the police station and I’ll come out and talk to you,” Baird said.

Anyone with mental health questions or concerns or simply in need of a chat can call Baird at 843 918-1541.

Leave a Comment