Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user blueiris2006

Dear PoPville,

I just had a great interaction with a city service that’s new to me and possibly helpful to other readers. There’s a mentally ill man who hangs out at my bus stop; he usually just watches the people go by, but has really devolved over the last two months – pacing, shouting at the air and looking disheveled (he’s not homeless). Today was particularly bad, so I called 311 and they connected me to the DC Mental Health Mobile Response Team. A very considerate guy answered right away, took down my information, and called back 45 minutes later to say that they had sent a team out, talked to him, and even talked to his case worker (whom they knew).

I was impressed at how responsive, considerate and on top of things they were, and relieved that the city did more than send police to move him along. He wasn’t violent, but if you come across someone who is, they recommend calling 911 and asking the police to send their mental health team (it has an acronym that I didn’t catch) since they have special training in handling these situations.


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