AllHealth Network, Englewood police launch mental health program

Mental health and medical professionals respond in some cases instead of police

Tayler Shaw
tshaw@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/8/22

Instead of sending Englewood police to low-level mental health 911 calls, dispatchers have started sending a Mobile Response Unit (MRU) van staffed with mental health and medical professionals.

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AllHealth Network, Englewood police launch mental health program

Mental health and medical professionals respond in some cases instead of police

Posted

Instead of sending Englewood police to low-level mental health 911 calls, dispatchers have started sending a Mobile Response Unit (MRU) van staffed with mental health and medical professionals. 

The change is due to a pilot program launched by AllHealth Network, a nonprofit that provides mental health and substance use treatment, with the Englewood Police Department, the nonprofit announced in an Aug. 30 news release. 

Under the program, a trained dispatcher asks 911 callers a series of questions to determine if the Mobile Response Unit van, staffed by a registered nurse and a behavioral health case manager, should respond instead of police. 

“In their first week in-service (the MRU) has handled around 30 calls for service,” Englewood Department Resource Coordinator Sgt. Reid McGrath said in the release. “Calls that would have required police response are now handled by civilians who are able to provide de-escalation and resources.”

According to the release, non-emergency calls the Mobile Response Unit may respond to include welfare checks, substance use or homelessness concerns, individuals experiencing non-emergent suicidal ideation and other low-level behavioral health situations. 

When responding to a call, the case manager will assess the needs of the person and coordinate care while the registered nurse evaluates any possible medical issues, the release said. 

The goal is to provide services on-scene; however, if the individual consents, the Mobile Response Unit van can provide transportation to a care facility, such as a detox facility or shelter, or to a transit hub, like a bus station, according to the release. 

The van is also equipped with a lift for non-ambulatory needs, bus passes, snacks, water, pet food and hand warmers, the release said. 

“Our goal is to expand options available to the community when individuals call 911 experiencing a low-level behavioral health crisis,” Alli Briggs, the director of clinical services of AllHealth Network, said in the release. “This program will free up law enforcement and bring interventions for individuals in our community.”

Higher-level mental health concerns will be addressed by AllHealth Network’s Co-Responder Program that launched in 2018 with the Englewood Police Department, the release said. 

“We are honored to provide this new program to the communities we serve,” Jen Bock, the chief clinical officer for AllHealth Network, said in the statement. “It is a true partnership between AllHealth Network, law enforcement and our communities.” 

AllHealth Network, Englewood Police, Mobile Response Unit, mental health

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