AURORA, COLO. – In collaboration with Aurora Mental Health Center and Falck Rocky Mountain, the city of Aurora will officially launch the Aurora Mobile Response Team tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 8. This pilot program is an alternative response in handling behavioral health crises.
Through March 12, 2022, the six-month pilot program will provide service only in northwest Aurora, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. To access this service, those in the service area can call 911 or Aurora’s non-emergency dispatch line at 303.627.3100 and request the Aurora Mobile Response Team.
The team pairs a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck 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/or substance use issues.
“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.
“This has been a wonderful collaboration with the city and partnering agencies,” said Todd Merendino, division director of acute services at Aurora Mental Health Center. “We are very excited and honored to be a part of this program and proud to serve the Aurora community.”
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. “We are proud to be a part of this new pilot program,” said David Patterson, chief executive officer at Falck Rocky Mountain. “Our part in this program is an example of our commitment to delivering innovative and expanded emergency medical services for the Aurora community.”
The city and partners will evaluate the data collected through the pilot period from the people served and its partners to determine the program’s efficacy and the potential for expansion.
The 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. The Aurora Mobile Response Team allows law enforcement to focus on crime-related calls for dispatch by responding to low-intensity calls for service.
Learn more about the Aurora Mobile Response Team at AuroraGov.org/MobileResponse.
Image caption from left: Caption: Tandis Hashemi, clinician from Aurora Mental Health Center; Alex James, paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain; and Courtney Tassin, program manager for the Aurora Mobile Response Team