Next week a new county government van will hit the streets, providing on-the-scene behavioral health services.
The van will be operated by a new “Mobile Outreach Support Team,” consisting of “a licensed behavioral health clinician, a certified peer recovery specialist, and an outreach worker” from Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services.
The team will work alongside emergency responders, providing “alternatives to incarceration for those engaged in ‘nuisance crimes/behaviors,'” while decreasing hospital emergency room and psychiatric hospital admissions.
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in 2020, a key demand of the “defund the police” movement was reducing the police budget in order to fund additional social services. While Arlington has, in fact, increased its police budget, the new outreach team is at least a partial realization of the vision for diverting some police responses to behavioral health clinicians, as suggested by the county’s Police Practices Work Group.
More, below, from a county press release.
The Mobile Outreach Support Team (MOST) is the latest addition to the County’s expanding network of care for people experiencing mental health and substance use issues.
The MOST program is coordinated by the Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Fire Department, and the Emergency Communications Center, which operates the County’s 9-1-1 call center.
MOST launches July 31, 2023, and will operate Monday through Friday, between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The goals of MOST include increasing access to mental health and substance use treatment and decreasing the role of non-clinical first responders in addressing mental health needs. The program also aims to provide alternatives to incarceration for those engaged in “nuisance crimes/behaviors,” and decrease emergency department and psychiatric hospital admissions.
“MOST is an important expansion of our efforts to ensure that people in crisis can get the right help when and where they need it,” said DHS Director Anita Friedman. “MOST team members are specialists who will be out in the community. That includes responding to 9-1-1 calls that have a behavioral health need, conducting outreach to people who are homeless, and working closely with our partners in Police and Fire to support them in the field when needed.”
The National Guidelines for Crisis Care from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) emphasize the importance of offering mobile, community-based intervention to individuals in need wherever they are, including at home, work, or anywhere else in the community where the person is experiencing a crisis.
The MOST team – which includes a licensed behavioral health clinician, a certified peer recovery specialist, and an outreach worker – will provide a range of essential functions that include:
- Triage/screening, including explicit screening for suicidality
- Peer support
- Coordination with medical and behavioral health services
- Crisis planning and follow-up
Arlington’s MOST will also be able to distribute harm reduction tools such as Narcan and fentanyl test strips, connect people who are homeless to shelters and other services, and transport people from the scene to providers where they can receive assistance.
The MOST has a specially equipped van (a County fleet vehicle modified using federal grant funds) to provide services in the community. The van is connected to the County’s computer-aided dispatch system and an on-board computer allows MOST clinicians to use DHS’s electronic health record system. The vehicle includes supplies for harm reduction, non-perishable food, water, a defibrillator, clothing, and hygiene items.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.
There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…
Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.