Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $549,959)
To address BJA priority areas involving risk of harm to individuals with MI/CMISA and law enforcement and the application of evidenced-based intervention to reduce recidivism, Highland Rivers CSB d.b.a. Highland Rivers Health, in partnership with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, Lookout Mountain Community Services (LMCS) and Georgia’s Statistical Analysis Center (GASAC), will work to develop a continuum of care that is aimed at support of law enforcement and behavioral health in association with the criminal justice system. This continuum will include the development of policy, procedure, and resources for co-response between law-enforcement and clinician. This initiative will incorporate increased training that allows for the enhancement of public safety response to and outcomes of individuals with mental illness (MI) and co-occurring mental illness and substance use (CMISA), and increased referral to services reducing the number of mental health individuals within the jail system of Catoosa County. The co-response team will have the ability to respond jointly to situations in which a behavioral health crisis is likely to be involved using a specially trained officer and a mental health clinician. This model allows communities and local leaders to develop a crisis continuum of care that facilitates the reduction of harm, arrests, and use of jails and emergency departments. This system promotes the development of and access to quality mental and substance use disorder treatment and services and serves as the pre-booking phase of the continuum of care cycle. The overarching goal of the program is to reduce the reliance on jail systems, ED’s and higher end crisis services for individuals with MI/ CMISA through the newly established co-responder team. The main strategies of this proposal are to identify and assess the response level and number of cases of mental health calls; provide enhanced CIT, de-escalation, and trauma-informed training; and, facilitate the continued growth of our integrated partnership. Training initiatives will ensure MI/CMISA calls are handled with a knowledgeable and understanding team focused on ensuing individuals are linked to the appropriate resource. We intend to maintain a case load of 30 in year 1, 6o in year 2 and 90 in year 3.