On Friday August 11th fourteen Alexandria VOICE leaders and partners spent two hours conducting a research action as part of the the VOICE Alexandria’s Behavioral Health Team’s getting into action to address the behavioral health crisis. The group of leaders was largely made up of those directly impacted by mental health and behavioral health needs who are in the listening and learning process building towards a campaign.
VOICE toured a new Alexandria City facility that houses Emergency Services and Medically Assisted Treatment, both programs operating out of the city’s Department of Community and Humane Services.
The tour and Q&A were led by Alexandria’s Marcus Alert System Coordinator Michael Razak and Emergency Services Team Leader Dr. Allison Guernsey who showcased the new facility at 4850 Mark Center Dr, Alexandria, VA 22311 where Licensed clinicians evaluate mental health and substance use disorder problems and provide help as needed over the phone or in person. Walk-in Emergency Services are available Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Wednesday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. City staff highlighted that despite the enormous need the center was operating under-capacity for the moment, and that communicating the availability of services was still a need. https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Cultural-Competency/Mental_Health_Guide_Tool_Kit_2018.pdf)
VOICE’s Behavioral Health Team reconvened on Monday evening August 14th to report out on this research action as well as several others conducted in the past week. The team agreed that there is a strong need to connect with more directly impacted people as well as a larger and more diverse group of community members to cut the issue and build the power to win. The team just launched a Fall Listening Campaign – reach out to Jessica Sarriot if you want to join this team! (firstname.lastname@example.org)