WILLIAMSBURG — Colonial Behavioral Health (CBH) is establishing a workgroup to help implement the Marcus Alert.
The Marcus Alert came to be with the Marcus-David Peters Act; which, according to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, was named after a young Black American biology teacher who, in 2018, was killed by Richmond police amid a mental health crisis. The law, which was signed in 2020, aims to help reform the Commonwealth of Virginia’s response to mental health crisis calls.
The Marcus Alert system enhances emergency services for people experiencing a crisis related to mental health, substance use, or developmental disability. This is done through coordination between 911 and regional call centers, and it establishes a specialized behavioral health response from law enforcement when responding to a behavioral health situation.
The workgroup features representatives from CBH, James City County, York County, and the cities of Williamsburg and Poquoson. The group will assist with developing a comprehensive crisis plan that will be the primary response to behavioral health emergencies.
This specialized group plans to meet on a monthly basis with each meeting taking place on the fourth Monday at 6 p.m. The goal is to develop an implementation plan by July 2022.
CBH provides services to individuals and families who are affected by mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and substance use disorders.
More information on the programs and services CBH provides can be found on CBH’s website.