Arlington County Government offices and services are operating on modified schedules for Memorial Day on Mon., May 29, 2023.
The Marcus-David Peters Act was signed into law in late 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam, and named for Marcus-David Peters: a young, Black biology teacher who was killed by Richmond police in 2018 while experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Act aims to ensure that the emergency response to a behavioral health crisis is a behavioral health response and will lead to the creation of a mental health alert system (“Marcus Alert”), with coordination at state, regional, and local levels.
Learn more about Marcus Alert and the State’s Legislation: § 37.2-311.1. Comprehensive crisis system; Marcus alert system; powers and duties of the Department related to comprehensive mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disability crisis services (virginia.gov)
Marcus Alert provides an umbrella of services to individuals experiencing a crisis related to mental health, substance use, or developmental disability. Marcus Alert creates collaboration between 911 and regional crisis call centers and establishes a specialized and compassionate behavioral health response from law enforcement when responding to behavioral health crisis matters. To effectively provide this support to the community, the following protocols are followed:
As Virginia localities plan, develop, and implement the requirements of the Marcus-David Peters Act, they must form a local Stakeholder Group to identify opportunities, goals, and capacity to draft our Marcus Alert Local Plan. Arlington’s Stakeholder Group is a representative of the community and is comprised of individuals from local agencies, nonprofits, law enforcement, private practices, and advocacy organizations. Additional members include individuals and families with lived experiences with mental health, substance use, or a developmental disability, and/or involvement with the criminal justice system.
Arlington’s Stakeholder Group is divided into two subgroups: a Mission Group, and a Technical Group. The Mission Group will set priorities, establish timelines, receive regular updates from staff, review implementation progress, and make recommendations for action. The Technical Group will examine the County's current behavioral health crisis system, gather input from the community, and use this input to draft a Marcus Alert Local Plan. The Local Plan will create a more responsive, health-focused, trauma-informed behavioral health crisis system.
Please contact Arlington County’s Marcus Alert Coordinator for further assistance:
Tiffany Jones, MSW
Marcus Alert Coordinator
Arlington County Department of Human Services
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Please join us on Saturday, June 24 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Walter Reed Community Center for Marcus Alert Community Education Day! Come out for a fun and wellness filled Community Event! Register for this FREE Community Event here!
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