The ARRIVE Together program has come to Newark.
New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin announced that the program was up and running in the state’s largest city as of June 21 after the 2024 state budget invested $10 million in the program’s expansion.
“It’s imperative that we get our residents the proper help they need in times of mental distress, and the ARRIVE Together program has proven to do just that,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
The ARRIVE program is a pilot that pairs mental health screeners with law enforcement officers as they respond to mental and behavioral health crisis calls.
“When law enforcement officers, mental health professionals and community members work together, we ensure that mental health emergencies are de-escalated safely, fairly, and efficiently,” the governor added.
Mental Health Screeners
Mental health screeners will partner with members of the Newark Police Department and New Jersey Transit Police to engage in outreach to people experiencing homelessness, mental and behavioral health issues, and substance abuse issues at Newark Penn Station.
The mental health screeners will be employees of Beth Israel Medical Center and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.
In the one month since launch, Platkin noted the program had already engaged in or responded to over 80 proactive outreaches and calls for service.
“We know that ARRIVE works. Making mental health resources readily available to those in crisis has the power to deescalate tense situations, reduce the need for arrests, and make for positive outcomes,” he said
Growing Value Since 2021
The ARRIVE program was first launched by the State Police in Cumberland County in December 2021 in partnership with the Cumberland County Guidance Center.
Since its inception in 2021, ARRIVE demonstrated its value as a means for aiding New Jersey residents who were coping with mental and behavioral health emergencies by utilizing a clinical approach.
Of note, the ARRIVE program has several models, and the model used within any given area is designed to meet the individual needs and priorities of that community.