Tackling Mental Health Issues

In an effort to address mental health issues in Fairfax County, I have long advocated for increasing resources to support those facing mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, depression, and PTSD. To help bring awareness to these issues, I have sought to host public events, include mental health initiatives in other county reforms, and have lead efforts to create systems to protect those most in need.

Working to ensure that Fairfax County employees, such as the Fairfax County Police Department, are equipped with the resources necessary to support those who are suffering from mental health diagnoses, as well as intellectual or developmental disabilities is extremely important to me. My goal is to put Fairfax County in a top tier of mental health services and training programs.

  • Expand Crisis Intervention Training: Continue effort for complete crisis intervention training (CIT) for all law enforcement officers in the County. This is critically important because the training provides officers the tools needed to safely and properly interact with people suffering from mental illness and disabilities. This will reduce escalations and instances of violence.
  • Emphasize Diversion First Treatment: Create alternatives to incarceration for individuals suffering from mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Offers a path for treatment and recovery. Diversion First policy is set to be effective in Fairfax County by January 1, 2016.
  • Creation of the Veterans Treatment Docket: With support from the Board of Supervisors and my call to action, we were able to open the door for the Veterans Docket and mentor program. I will continue to support the newly created Veteran’s treatment docket and a new Mental Health Court to provide treatment instead of incarceration for those committing less serious crimes due to mental illness.