New Loudoun mental health crisis center could get more deputies back on the streets, by Max Smith, WTOP, July 3, 2015
From WTOP news:
The Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services, led by Division Director Michelle Petruzello and Department Director Joe Wilson, has been working with Sheriff Mike Chapman to set up the new assessment center. It will be funded for two years by a grant, with hopes that it will show the successes needed to earn more funding from other sources in the future.
Jeanne Comeau, executive director of NAMI Northern Virginia, says other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia that have opened similar centers and stepped up the crisis intervention training have helped more people with mental illness get treatment without getting stuck behind bars.
“We’re very excited about the new assessment center because we know that so many individuals who live with mental health conditions are not able to get the treatment that they need and often end up in the jail instead, so just having a place that officers are able to go and take people who live with mental illness to a place where they can be safe and also are able to access community resources,” she says.
“When people have heart conditions and they have a heart attack, the first thing we do is get them in an ambulance and get them to the hospital and get treatment, and mental illness is another chronic condition where we need to provide treatment,” she says.
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