After a year of planning and collaboration, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, Wausau Police Department and North Central Health Care have finalized a Crisis Assessment Response Team (CART) to help better address mental health needs.

The overall goal of the team is to reduce the number of involuntary detentions to mental health facilities and reducing the number of people incarcerated due to an underlying mental health disorder.

North Central Health Care representatives Stacey Rozelle and Chuck Kerstell, along with Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy Megan Sowinski and Wausau Police Officer David Bertram, have undergone Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and now make up the CART team. Over the next several weeks, members of the team will be out in the community, developing relationships and learning about the range of resources available in Marathon County that can help aid them in their task.

The team will also be responding to calls for service related to mental health needs, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.

These calls could be associated with a crisis, working with individuals and families who manage a mental illness and working with homeless persons,” according to a Sheriff’s Department public Facebook post.

“This is a tall task and something we are confident this team can handle.”

Support for the team has been provided by the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin and the Greenheck Foundation.