Statewide transportation available for children, adults experiencing mental health crisis

Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 1:37 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) announced statewide alternative transportation is available for children and adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The new service uses secure, unmarked vehicles with specially trained drivers who are unarmed and wearing plain clothes.

DBHDS partnered with G4S in 2018 to begin a three-year regional rollout of alternative transportation services in Virginia for those who are under a temporary detention order (TDO) and are eligible for such transportation.

According to DBHDS, those who have no alternative transportation or who didn’t commit a crime, are placed in law enforcement vehicles handcuffed, which can intensify trauma.

Such transportation will take the burden off of law enforcement, DBHDS says.

As of March 10, 2021, G4S completed 2,246 safe transports statewide since the first trip in October 2019.

The new transportation services are now available statewide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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