St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) today announced it is partnering with Chestnut Health Systems™, a not-for-profit health and human services organization, to launch a one-year pilot program to help address problematic behaviors on the local transit system. SCCTD is investing nearly $200,000 in this effort, which will enable mental health advisors to work alongside SCCTD Ambassadors, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and Metro Transit Public Safety to mitigate the number of behavioral incidences.
The goal of the pilot program is to help diminish the use of platforms and trains by “all day” riders; decrease argumentativeness and sleeping on the system; identify riders in need of community resources; convene with area social service and treatment providers to help said individuals; improve overall rider experiences; and search for additional state and federal funding to expand the scale, scope and reach of the program.
Chestnut will be providing a two-person team that will work 40 hours per week to address transit-related issues. They will be utilizing motivational interviewing, along with a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach – known as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) – that focuses on the delivery of early intervention and treatment services.
“We believe this partnership with Chestnut will play a key role in furthering the safety and security of the system,” said Herb Simmons, Chair of the St. Clair County Board of Trustees. “This pilot program will provide a level of assistance not currently available to riders, who may be experiencing a range of mental, physical and emotional challenges.”