Human Services to Host Community Listening Sessions for Marcus Alert Implementation

Human Services to Host Community Listening Sessions for Marcus Alert Implementation
August 18, 2021

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will hold two virtual community listening sessions to seek public feedback on our community's implementation of the Marcus Alert legislation. Interested individuals are invited to join us at one of the following virtual events:

11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25 – Register
6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2 – Register

The Department is seeking input from community members, especially those who have firsthand experience with mental health or substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, law enforcement involvement, temporary detention, or emergency custody as an individual or family member.

"When we consider our response model, it's essential that we hear from individuals who have a vested interest in how we approach someone calling out for help," said Angela Hicks, DHS Deputy Director for Behavioral Health & Developmental Services. "We want to hear from those who have been through the process, or the friends and loved ones who have been there to help someone with their recovery. We want to hear about what is important to our community for us to consider."

This could include, but is not strictly limited to:

  • Who should respond when someone calls for help during a behavioral health crisis (mental health clinicians, peer specialists, law enforcement, a combination of supports, or others)?
  • What type of response you would want for yourself or your loved ones during a behavioral health emergency?
  • Where teams should respond (like homes, schools or other community locations)?
  • What would make you feel more comfortable reaching out for help early on?
  • What kind of follow-up or ongoing supports would be helpful to individuals who enter our services while in crisis?

DHS welcomes all feedback during both events and attendees are invited to share their input. Written responses will also be accepted from those who are unable to attend or would prefer not to speak openly. Anyone who would like to submit their thoughts in writing can do so by sending an email to VBMarcusAlert@VBgov.com.

To learn more, please visit VBgov.com/MarcusAlert.