Q. What is the Be Well OC Mobile Response Program?
A. The Be Well OC Mobile Response Program provides community-based assessment and stabilization of adults and adolescents experiencing mental health and substance use challenges, and other non-medical emergency challenges. Each team consists of two crisis counselors provides a compassionate first response model to get people the right help at the right time.
Q. Why is this needed?
A. This service is designed to support law enforcement and EMS by providing specialized response to mental health crises, intoxication, welfare checks, and situations that don’t require law enforcement and EMS services.
Q. What situations will be covered by the Be Well OC Mobile Response Teams?
A. The Be Well OC Mobile Response Team will be prepared to help with a variety of non-emergency situations including:
• Mental health / behavioral crisis
• Suicidal ideation
• Non-domestic violence family issues / disputes
• Public assistance including lack of basic needs (food, shelter, water, clothing)
• Failure to conduct basic self-hygiene, failure to thrive
• Welfare checks
• Death notification
• Homelessness, in conjunction and collaboration with local task forces
Q. How is the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team dispatched?
A. In active cities, when someone calls 911 or the non-emergency line for a mental health crisis that does not require medical care or (dangerous situation), the dispatcher will triage and when appropriate deploy the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team rather than police or EMS.
How is the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team staffed?
A. All staff are Be Well OC employees who specialize in crisis management and are trained in de-escalation techniques. Each van has a team of two crisis counselors who have passed background checks and other screening requirements, as determined by local police departments.
How is this team or model different than EMTs or paramedics?
Emergency medical services (EMS) teams comprise various professionals, including EMTs and paramedics, who are trained to provide basic and advanced care to patients during a medical crisis and during their subsequent transportation to a healthcare facility.
The Be Well OC Mobile Response Team members have different skillsets than EMS teams. Skilled in de-escalation, crisis intervention, counseling, and mediation, the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team can effectively address both the emotional and social well-being of the client. This service is designed to support law enforcement and EMS in providing a specialized response to mental crises, intoxication, welfare checks, and the like, so they can focus on public safety and medical calls where they are needed most urgently.
Q. How can we get a Be Well OC Mobile Response Team in our city?
A. The Be Well OC Mobile Response Teams are contracted directly through each individual city. We are currently in conversations with several cities throughout the county and will roll those programs out over the course of the next several months.
Q. In what cities is the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team currently active?
A. The Be Well OC Mobile Response Team is currently active in:
• Huntington Beach
• Garden Grove
• Newport Beach
Be Well OC will be activating teams in Irvine (including UCI) in the near future.
Q. Will the van be used to treat people at the location?
A. The van is equipped with clothing, food and a private, secure space where mental health support can be provided in a discreet setting. If medical aid is required, the local fire department will be summoned to provide immediate care and transport to the appropriate medical facility.
Q. Will the van take homeless people off of the street?
A. The Be Well OC Mobile Response Team will respond to any crisis to which it’s dispatched. In some cases, those will be homeless related. While patients will only be transported on a voluntary basis, the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team can transport patients if they need additional care. Depending on the situation, this can include the Be Well OC Orange Campus, local hospitals, urgent care, a shelter, etc.
Q. How is this program funded?
A. Most of the startup funding for the vans are funded through private community investment. Each of the Be Well OC Mobile Response Team programs are sustained by the individual cities in which they operate. If you are interested in supporting a van in your community, please contact Stacy Skwarlo (email@example.com).