Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $482,555)
The Chesterfield County Police and the Chesterfield County Mental Health Services departments, seek to fund the implementation of co-response teams as a Connect and Protect priority, to promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs who encounter law enforcement and improve public safety. Implementation of response plan for this proposal is shown in pages 6-10 of the project narrative.
Chesterfield County, Virginia, home to over 360,000 residents, has answered an average of 1,000 incoming calls to the 24/7 crisis line each month, for the past decade. Many of these calls originate from Chesterfield Police Department and often result in overcrowded emergency rooms and psychiatric units.
Significant expenses are currently associated with the current model of mental health treatment in Virginia. Each day of psychiatric hospitalization for an individual costs roughly $1,000 whether funded by insurance, or through state allocated regional funds for uninsured individuals. The cost associated with long duration ER admissions, extended hours or multiple days of law enforcement in-custody time, and transportation to designated hospitals, is a huge community expense. This proposed program is designed to facilitate pro-active efficient identification and treatment for community members in needed and thereby stabilizing the community and preventing potentially unnecessary ER and psychiatric hospitalizations.
Chesterfield County wishes to address this issue by providing a service to individuals who could be better supported with less intrusive systems of care to improve outcomes for individuals, while also reducing cost. Via this proposal, Chesterfield proposes to fund two teams, consisting of one mental health professional and one police officer for mobile co-response practices, in the amount of $482,555 to serve an estimated 700 individuals in crisis in our county, per month. Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office has been a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds (21-D6102MH21).