Mental Health Clinician Ashley Sullivan Begins Work Supporting Randolph Police Department

RANDOLPH — Chief Anthony Marag is pleased to share that the Randolph Police Department’s new mental health clinician Ashley Sullivan has recently begun working in her new role.

Sullivan is a mental health clinician with Aspire Health Alliance and is assigned with the Randolph Police Department as its co-responder through the Jail Diversion Program. She began in this role last month.

In her new role, Sullivan is an essential component of the department’s newly established Support & Outreach Unit. She will assist officers and residents with resources and determining the appropriate levels of care and treatment. In addition, she will consult on departmental policy and procedures and assist with the development of new training for officers.

“Sometimes people don’t know where to turn for mental health resources, so a large part of my job is providing a map of what is out there and pointing them in the right direction,” Sullivan said. “We have been working on immediate interventions, long term projects and everything in between. When my position started a month ago, the whole department hit the ground running and we don’t plan on stopping. I am extremely excited at the progress we’ve made and all the things we’re looking forward to.”

Sullivan has worked with Aspire Health Alliance for over a year in Emergency Services and has done outreach work with To Write Love On Her Arms. She has clinical experience in a variety of settings including Samaritans, the Boston Public Schools and Gosnold, Inc.

Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in sociology and a focus on criminal justice from Suffolk University. She also holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with a concentration in military and veterans psychology from William James College.

“In recent years, calls for service have increasingly involved a mental health or crisis component and it’s important for our officers to have the proper training, support and resources to not only ensure a safe outcome, but ensure that person in crisis gets the help that they need,” Chief Marag said. “Ashley is an instrumental addition to our Support & Outreach Unit as we work to improve our programming, training and procedures surrounding helping those in our community experiencing a mental health crisis.”

The Jail Diversion Program supports officers in recognizing, assessing and responding to people with behavioral health challenges. The co-responder clinician accompanies officers to relevant calls for service and assists in utilizing de-escalation techniques or providing victim assistance. While officers focus on maintaining a safe and secure scene, the clinician focuses on assessing the needs of those on scene. This helps increase the safety for both the person in crisis and the officer, in addition to diverting those with mental health challenges to resources or treatment rather than arrest.

Aspire Health Alliance is the local Emergency Services Provider for mental health and assists with the diversion process. The Emergency Services Program is able to provide immediate assessment and direction to appropriate services and programs.

Additionally through the Jail Diversion Program, 100% of officers will be trained in Mental Health First Aid and at least 20% of officers will have completed Crisis Intervention Training, which is part of the One Mind Campaign. The One Mind Campaign seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and persons with mental health disorders and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“It is important for our community members who are in crisis to have access to the appropriate services at the right time, and Ashley brings vital knowledge and experience to support the needs of our residents by connecting them with specialized care,” Town Manager Brian Howard said. “Ashley will be a tremendous asset to the department not only by collaborating with officers as they respond to calls, but also by providing perspective and expertise on training and procedures.”

Grant funding for this position was provided to the Randolph Police Department through the Jail/Arrest Diversion Co-Responder Grant Program of the Department of Mental Health, in partnership with Aspire Health Alliance.