Arlington County is seeking community members to join a stakeholder group that will help Arlington County Government implement the requirements of Virginia’s new Marcus-David Peters Act.
The Act, which was signed into law in late 2020 by Governor Ralph Northam, will create a statewide mental health alert system, also known as Marcus Alert, to ensure behavioral health experts are involved in responding to people in crisis.
The stakeholder group will identify opportunities, goals, and capacity for Arlington County, as well as draft the County’s Marcus Alert Local Plan. The group will be representative of the Arlington community, comprised of persons from local agencies, nonprofits, law enforcement, private practices, and advocacy organizations, as well as individuals and families who have lived experience with mental health, substance use, or a developmental disability, and/or involvement with the criminal justice system.
Arlington’s Stakeholder Group will be divided into two subgroups: Mission and Technical. The Mission subgroup will set priorities, establish timelines, receive regular updates from staff, report on implementation progress, and make recommendations for action. The Technical subgroup will examine the County’s current behavioral health crisis system, gather input from the community, and use this input to draft a Marcus Alert Local Plan that will create a more responsive, health-focused, trauma-informed behavioral health crisis system.
Stakeholder group meetings are expected to be offered in a virtual format. Meetings will begin in September 2021, with the Technical subgroup meeting monthly and the Mission subgroup meeting every other month for a period of 12-18 months.