Greensboro officials are considering growing the Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) to better help unhoused residents or individuals facing emergency health crises.

The team started in 2020 to connect residents in crisis with behavioral and mental health options. The group consists of eight members including a team lead, an assistant team lead, five crisis counselors and one outreach worker.

According to a presentation given in a city council work session on Thursday, BHRT has responded to more than 1700 mental health calls. The team has also assisted more than 300 unhoused individuals.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan says in speaking with police that they like the program, but the one complaint she has heard is the team's size. She says increasing staff could help them be more active during the evenings and on weekends.

"So, when the majority of those phone calls come in, when somebody's in crisis, we're going to have somebody to respond to them," she says.

Vaughan says she believes BHRT has made a difference as an alternative to police.

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