Beth Van Emburgh has recently started her role as the Acton Police Department’s first full-time Clinical Responder, serving community members facing a variety of challenges.
Van Emburgh studied Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies at Springfield College and worked in the field before receiving her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College in 2015. She has vast experience, both in corrections and in community settings with children, adults, and families. She works to integrate a trauma-informed and person-first model in de-escalating crises, as well as providing ongoing support and advocacy for all she comes into contact with.
As Clinical Responder, Van Emburgh will assume a variety of responsibilities:
- Serving as a conduit between residents and community-based substance misuse and mental-health services.
- Working with an umbrella of local and state organizations, including Family Services, Council on Aging, Veterans Agent, Community Resources Coordinator, Acton Nursing Services, Domestic Violence Services Network, state Department of Mental Health, and others.
- Serving as a co-first responder for calls involving substance misuse and/or mental health issues.
- Training officers for improved and more consistent responses on mental-health calls.
- Developing a model for a Jail/Arrest Diversion Program.
- Ensure that community-based services are culturally competent, accessible, and equitable to all.
Van Emburgh is a full-time member of the Department. The position is funded through a multi-year grant from the state Department of Mental Health.
Van Emburgh grew up in Acton, and graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.
View Van Emburgh's recent interview on Acton TV here.