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All Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Refer Calls to County Mobile Crisis Response Teams



County behavioral health officials, law enforcement representatives and community partners today announced all of the region’s 911 dispatchers have signed on to a memorandum of understanding to refer certain mental health calls to the County’s Mobile Crisis Response Teams.

MCRTs began in January 2021 as a pilot in the North County. Since then, the non-law enforcement program has expanded countywide and responded to 1,277 referrals: 1,099 through the County’s Access and Crisis Line and 178 through referrals from law enforcement. The service also expanded in April to offer in-person response 24 hours a day.

Of the 1,277 calls received:

  • 47% were about people who were able to be stabilized in the community and referred to treatment services
  • 22% of people were transported to crisis behavioral health treatment services, such as a crisis stabilization unit
  • 13% of the people declined services
  • 18% were people who needed more acute intervention (such as going to an emergency department), people who could not be located or canceled calls while MCRT was en route
  • 43% were white, 30% were Hispanic, 10% were Black, 6% were Asian/Pacific Islander and 9% were other, mixed or unknown ethnicity

Of those MCRT has served, approximately 20% were people experiencing homelessness.

“As a County we have continued to work to better address the mental health needs and crisis that we face in our street,” Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said at a news conference outside the County Administration Center. “We are incredibly grateful that this is a regional response. Our entire region is committed to doing things differently and to figure out how we can do more.”

The County funds prevention and treatment services throughout the region. If you, or someone you care about, needs treatment, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.

Read the entire article here.