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All 11 law enforcement agencies in the San Diego County region will now be able to refer mental health crisis calls that come into 911 to a county-sponsored Mobile Crisis Response Team, it was announced Thursday.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher made the announcement Thursday at the County Administration Center, joined by members of local law enforcement, county behavioral health experts and MCRT clinicians.

"Mobile Crisis Response Teams are working, and through this new collaboration with the 11 law enforcement agencies in San Diego County, their dispatch teams are now on the frontlines to make sure MCRT reaches people in need," Fletcher said. "MCRT is operating around the clock and it is a better way to provide the right services at the right time.

"MCRT has responded to more than 1,200 referrals and with trained behavioral health experts being the first person a patient encounters, it changes their entry point into the healthcare system, and changes their trajectory moving forward," he said.

In March, the county's law enforcement agencies -- San Diego Unified Port District, La Mesa, San Diego, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Oceanside, Escondido, Chula Vista, National City, Coronado and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department -- signed a memorandum with the county, and have since been phasing in the process of referring calls to MCRT.

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