Letters to the Editor

Letter: Don’t cut Mobile Crisis Team

I am deeply concerned the mayor has proposed to pull the funding from the Anchorage Fire Department’s Mobile Crisis Team. MCT is evidence-based, efficacious and cost-effective.

Following Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration best practices, an EMT/paramedic and mental health clinician staff MCT. They respond in real-time to behavioral health crises – providing de-escalation, risk assessment, psychoeducation, behavioral interventions and referrals – without law enforcement accompaniment unless special circumstances warrant it.

MCT provides better community-based care while saving taxpayer money. From July 15 through Oct. 4, MCT made 264 contacts with 149 individuals, most frequently due to distress, psychosis, suicide, and a need for resources. Most individuals were able to stay in the community following MCT response; only 8 needed law enforcement transport to a local hospital. Those who have interacted with MCT report feeling respected, satisfied and helped.

Our community has invested time, energy, and finances to build MCT; now it is time to reap the benefits of our investment rather than defunding an incredibly successful program. I urge Anchorage residents to speak out about the proposed cut to this vital program.

Sara Buckingham

Eagle River

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