Leesburg, VA (Nov. 20, 2015) – In its first month of operation, the Loudoun County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center provided direct crisis intervention and stabilization evaluations to more than 100 individuals.
The CIT Assessment Center, which is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily, provides individuals experiencing a mental health emergency the opportunity to meet with a mental health professional for evaluation, crisis intervention and stabilization services, as well as links to various resources. The services are provided by emergency services staff from the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services (MHSADS). During the hours of operation, a Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputy is available to receive an individual in crisis brought to the center by law enforcement, which allows law enforcement to return to patrol duties.
In the inaugural month of the CIT Assessment Center, which opened October 1 2015, emergency services staff provided direct crisis intervention and stabilization evaluations to 111 individuals for a total of 126 face-to-face contacts. Of the 126 face-to-face evaluations, 48 evaluations were conducted at the CIT Assessment Center for individuals who were seeking services and support voluntarily. There were twelve individuals brought to the center under an emergency custody order. In all twelve instances, the transporting law enforcement officer was able to transfer custody to the Sheriff’s deputy who was at the center.
The CIT Assessment Center, located at 102 Heritage Way, N.E., Suite 102 in Leesburg, was made possible by a grant from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the continuing partnership between MHSADS and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO).
The CIT Assessment Center is part of the Loudoun County CIT initiative spearheaded by MHSADS and LCSO. Since its inception, Loudoun County CIT has focused on improving the safety of law enforcement and individuals during crisis situations; increasing law enforcement knowledge of various mental health presentations and community resources; improving access to mental health evaluations for individuals in crisis who come to the attention of law enforcement; raising community awareness of CIT-trained law enforcement; and advancing public recognition of the need for mental health care for citizens of Loudoun County.
Loudoun County officials remind anyone who is experiencing a mental health crisis that help is available and that they are not alone. In an emergency, they can call 911 and ask for a CIT Deputy. The 24/7 numbers they can call are: MHSADS Emergency Services at 703-777-0320 or Crisis Link at703-527-4077.