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Aurora Mobile Response Enters Second Year

Aurora Mobile Response Team Enters Second Year of Service
Posted on 09/12/2022

The Aurora Mobile Response Team (AMRT) has entered its second year of service after serving more than 500 individuals. The program pairs a licensed mental health clinician from Aurora Mental Health with a paramedic from Falck Rocky Mountain to provide trauma-informed crisis intervention and de-escalation services on the scene to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis related to mental health, depression, homelessness, poverty and/or substance use.

“Traditional methods for crisis intervention often fall short of what is needed in our community,” said Courtney Tassin, Aurora crisis intervention program manager who oversees AMRT. “The Aurora Mobile Response Team provides a modern approach that is greatly desired, and we are seeing an instant impact. Families, friends, schools and others witnessing our work are grateful for the service we provide. We look forward to continuing successful service for those who need it.”

AMRT provides basic first aid, behavioral health assessments, and needs such as food, water, clothing, hygiene products and referrals for local resources. The six-month pilot period for AMRT began on Sept. 8, 2021. Since its inception, AMRT was identified to be an appropriate response for approximately 1,118 calls for service that Aurora911 received from across the city. Appropriate calls came in at all hours and days of the week. Since the program currently operates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, AMRT has responded to 519 calls, serving 530 people. The Aurora City Council approved additional funding for the program after the pilot period ended due to its positive effect on the Aurora community. 

“I am so proud of Aurora Mental Health Center's partnership with the city of Aurora. The Aurora Mobile Response Team is responding to calls and providing real-time access to critical care and services for individuals experiencing a behavioral health issue, and by working together, have been able to compassionately address situations and prevent escalation for more than 500 individuals in the past year," said Kelly Phillips-Henry, Aurora Mental Health Center CEO.

AMRT operates separately from the Aurora Police Department’s existing Crisis Response Team, which provides service citywide and pairs trained officers with mental health clinicians. AMRT responds to low-intensity calls for service, allowing law enforcement to focus on crime-related calls. APD has requested an AMRT response 108 times, leading to a cost savings of more than $23,000 by putting officers back into service. Additionally, there have been 29 diversions from other emergency departments, saving more than $118,000.

“The AMRT program is an invaluable resource for officers and community members. We look forward to a continued partnership with AMRT to ensure the most appropriate resources are available for our neighbors experiencing difficulties due to mental health crises,” said APD spokesperson Sgt. Faith Goodrich.

AMRT is not armed, does not perform any law-enforcement duties, and will not respond to incidents that involve violence or life-threatening medical situations.

The innovative program garnered the attention of the CBS News network, which profiled AMRT earlier this year for a national audience on the CBS Evening News and CBS Mornings.

“Falck has pioneered similar programs in other communities with the goal of delivering the right care to the right patient/client at the right time. AMRT delivers on that goal through a collaborative partnership that delivers specific care that the AMRT team is uniquely equipped to provide,” said David Patterson, Falck Rocky Mountain CEO.

Currently, the service is available only in west Aurora through 2022, with potential expansion pending additional program funding. People who witness a situation related to a behavioral health crisis and are in the service area can call 911 or the non-emergency dispatch line at 303.627.3100 to request AMRT support.

More information about the Aurora Mobile Response Team is available at AuroraGov.org/MobileResponse

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