April 28, 2022

Residents Invited to Virtual Community Forum on Wednesday, May 4, With Focus on New ‘Triage and Dispatch Protocol’ for Mental Health Crisis Response

Residents Invited to Virtual Community Forum on Tuesday, May 4, With Focus on  New ‘Triage and Dispatch Protocol’ for Mental Health Crisis Response
Montgomery County residents are invited to attend a virtual community forum from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, on a “Common Triage and Dispatch Protocol” that provides criteria for mobile crisis and outreach teams (MCOT) at the County’s Crisis Center. At the forum, residents can provide comments on the protocol that will guide how staff responds to mental health crises with and without police presence.

The forum will be held on the Teams Live platform and will be livestreamed on the County’s Facebook page. Join the event at https://bit.ly/commontriage. Teams Live offers translation into multiple languages through closed captioning.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff will introduce and explain the Common Triage and Dispatch Protocol, followed by an open forum for questions and comments.

Speakers at the forum will be Raymond Crowel, director of DHHS; Marcus Jones, chief of the Montgomery County Police; Scott Goldstein, chief of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service; Rolando Santiago, the DHHS chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services (BHCS); Dorne Hill, the DHHS senior administrator for crisis, intake and trauma services; and Beth Tabachnick, manager of the DHHS Crisis Center.

MCOT responses to behavioral health crises without police presence represent a significant change toward a civilian response. The civilian response is designed after the Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets (CAHOOTS) model that has been successfully implemented in Eugene, Ore., for more than 30 years. In 2021, DHHS consulted with the White Bird Clinic (WBC) that runs the CAHOOTS model. Staff from WBC provided training to MCOT team members, homeless outreach workers, police, and other staff on de-escalation, scene safety, situational awareness, community engagement and trauma informed care.

To request sign language interpreter services or other assistance to participate in this meeting, email Dorne Hill at dorne.hill@montgomerycountymd.gov no less than five business days before the meeting date.