“Be Well”: mobile mental health

BE WELL Mobile Response.

The Westminster Police Department’s partnership with Be-Well OC is now underway.

The city council of Westminster has approved establishment of Mobile Response Team to provide community mental health and wellness in the city. The program was approved for a two-year pilot and launched on June 26.

The Be Well OC program will seek to fill that gap in Westminster and help provide services to residents and unhoused individuals. It will also allow us better to utilize our law enforcement and fire department personnel. 

”The Westminster Police Department is looking forward to this new partnership with OC Be Well and is excited to offer this additional service to community members housed and unhoused,” said Darin Lenyi, Westminster police chief.

The program incorporates Be Well staff into a city’s network of first responders and enables 911 dispatchers to route mental health and substance use crisis calls to the Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Team. Skilled in de-escalation, crisis intervention, counseling, and mediation, the Be-Well, Mobile Crisis Response Team addresses the client’s emotional and social well-being. If needed and wanted by the client, the team can transport them for additional care.

Funding for the program includes a family foundation that supports mental health and wellness, as well as Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to cover the cost of this program through December 31, 2025. 

   “We have seen the impact Be Well’s Mobile Response program has in cities across the county, and we are pleased to be extending the program to the City of Westminster,” said Marshall Moncrief, CEO of Be Well OC. “Our goal is to integrate seamlessly with local law enforcement and first responders who can deploy us to mental health and wellness calls while better prioritizing their staff to address community safety needs. This is a win for residents and local agencies across the board.”

Data from the five existing pilot programs across Orange County demonstrate the value of incorporating Be Well’s Mobile Response into the City’s first response network, including:

  •  88% of calls did not require transport for additional care
  •  81% of calls did not require a co-response from law enforcement
  •  Average response time: 12 minutes
  •  Average time on the scene: 40 minutes
  •  Law enforcement partners report that the Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Team saves 10-12 hours a day of productive police time (on average)

The mobile response team, composed of two crisis counselors who reflect the city’s diversity and multiple languages, are trained in de-escalation and are skilled in effectively addressing residents’ emotional and social well-being. The team, traveling in a fully equipped blue van, will handle a variety of non-emergency and non-medical calls and provide appropriate counseling, information, referrals, transportation to services, and ongoing case management.

The Be Well OC in Westminster, Mobile Response Team, is available seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Westminster residents, regardless of income or health insurance, can call the Westminster Police Department’s non-emergency line at (714) 548-3212 and the dispatchers will triage the call and dispatch the mobile response team. 

The team is prepared to assist with a variety of non-emergency and non-medical situations, including mental health, behavioral crisis, suicidal ideation, public assistance, non-violent domestic issues, disputes, drug, and alcohol abuse and addiction, welfare checks, death notifications, and homelessness, in cooperation with the Westminster Police Department Homeless Liaison Team.

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