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Upper Valley agencies team up to create mobile crisis unit

The Lebanon Police Department has teamed with West Central Behavioral Health to create a mobile...
The Lebanon Police Department has teamed with West Central Behavioral Health to create a mobile crisis unit.(WCAX)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 8:15 AM EDT
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - There’s a new collaborative effort to policing and providing social services in the Upper Valley.

The Lebanon Police Department has teamed with West Central Behavioral Health to create a mobile crisis unit. It’s a community-based, face-to-face service that uses professional and peer intervention. If police identify that a call for service does not require a police response, they will be able to contact the crisis unit that will be on standby 24/7. That team will evaluate the situation over the phone and respond if necessary.

Lebanon Police Chief Phillip Roberts says it’s a better way to offer a number of services to people who need them.

“It just seemed to fill a need, a void that we had for a lack of services for some of these mental health crises, addiction, homeless. A lot of social service issues that law enforcement can’t necessarily solve themselves,” Roberts said.

This sort of program has been in the works for some time in New Hampshire with much of the state now having the service available. Millions of dollars in funding was approved earlier this summer for community mental health centers across the region.

But West Central Behavioral Health is having difficulties finding staff. It only has about half the workers it needs, causing some delays in getting the program off the ground.

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Embedded mental health worker plays key role for St. Albans Police

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