Today is TimeToTalk day. It is a mental health awareness day. With all of the police shootings lately, I’m grateful for the Alachua County coresponders. I have schizoaffective and PTSD. I have been in many police encounters, that could’ve turned badly. I was introduced to the Coresponder’s when I moved up here two years ago. The Coresponder’s are a police team of a police officer, and a social worker. They’re teamed up and drive together on high risk emergency calls of clients who have had frequent Baker Acts. This police team not only handles emergency calls, but also builds a rapport with the client in need to create a trust that enables safer and fewer future interactions. The co-responders also try to help the client get the services that they need. For example, my team of Co-Responders, Deputy Dan and Nicole, introduced me to the Gainesville Opportunity Center (GOC) where I have become an active member. The GOC is s mental health clubhouse where the members and staff work together to do the jobs necessary to run the clubhouse. I have found meaning and belonging as a clubhouse member, which has resulted in me not having returned to inpatient hospitalization since joining the GOC. New opportunities have been presenting themselves in my life since moving to Alachua county and being afforded services I didn’t have before, thanks to the advanced system this county has to help people. I am in the process of training a service dog as well. My life has improved tremendously and I am very grateful to live in this progressive county. #TimeToTalk #mentallyillandpolice #Safety #resources #gratituide