Colo. city launches pilot program for behavioral health crises

The Aurora Mobile Response Team will pair a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain


Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora on Wednesday launched a pilot program, the Aurora Mobile Response Team, as an alternative response in handling behavioral health crises.

The six-month pilot will provide service only in northwest Aurora, Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the city said in a Wednesday news release.

The team pairs a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain to provide trauma-informed crisis intervention and de-escalation services on the scene to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis related to mental health, depression, homelessness, poverty and substance use issues, the release said.
The team pairs a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain to provide trauma-informed crisis intervention and de-escalation services on the scene to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis related to mental health, depression, homelessness, poverty and substance use issues, the release said. (Photo/City of Aurora)

The team pairs a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain to provide trauma-informed crisis intervention and de-escalation services on the scene to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis related to mental health, depression, homelessness, poverty and substance use issues, the release said.

The new Aurora Mobile Response Team will operate separately from the Aurora Police Department's existing Crisis Response Team, which is citywide and pairs trained officers with mental health clinicians.

"We are thrilled to launch this program and offer much-needed services to the Aurora community," said Jessica Prosser, director of Aurora's Housing and Community Services Department, which is leading the program. "We recognize the quickest and most effective solutions for those in crisis don't always need law enforcement intervention. The Aurora Mobile Response Team helps meet those in crisis where they are with a helping hand and direction to resources."

The Aurora Mobile Response Team is not armed, does not perform any law-enforcement duties, and will not respond to incidents that involve violence or life-threatening medical situations, the Wednesday news release said. The mobile response team also provides basic first aid, behavioral health assessments, and needs such as food, water, clothing, hygiene products and referrals for local resources.

The city and partners will evaluate the data collected through March 12, 2022, from the people served and its partners to determine the program's efficacy and the potential for expansion.

The pilot can be accessed, within the service area, by a 911 call or by calling Aurora's nonemergency dispatch line at 303-627-3100.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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