The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission is awarding Sacramento County a grant to provide triage and peer supports to individuals in mental health crisis. The intent is to reduce the need for psychiatric hospitalizations, promote collaboration between health, mental health, and law enforcement agencies, and provide much needed mental health services to the community.
Beginning this fiscal year, the Division of Behavioral Health Services will be awarded $ 1.3 million per year (this fiscal year is prorated to 545K) through Fiscal Year 16/17. These dollars will fund 20.8 contracted full-time employee personnel. These contracted “navigators” will target those in the main jail, all local emergency rooms, Loaves and Fishes, and the Mental Health Treatment Center, and are in need of mental health assessment and services, and connect them to appropriate services.
What is extraordinary about this grant is the collaboration that took place between the Healthcare Organizations (Kaiser, Dignity, Sutter, UCD) and the Division of Behavioral Health to implement these services in emergency rooms in Sacramento County, as well as combining resources with the Sheriff’s department to help reduce recidivism for individuals with mental illness, who have frequent incarcerations.
Robert E. Hales, M.D., M.B.A. , UC Davis School of Medicine, explained, “The triage navigators will expand and enhance our ability to provide appropriate clinical services to the Sacramento County mental health population, and will reduce patients’ need to go to the emergency department for treatment in the first place.”
A second grant under SB82 has been applied for by the Division of Behavioral Health Services to pilot two mobile crisis teams with law enforcement (Sheriff and Sacramento Police Department), as well as to procure a permanent home for the current Crisis Residential facility run by Turning Point Programs, and to expand its capacity from 12 beds to 15 beds. Announcements for this award are expected by the end of March.