Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $550,000)
Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (MHRSB) requests $550,000 to partner with Cincinnati Police Department and Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, a subgrantee, to develop and implement the Hamilton County Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Center (HC-CRSC) for persons with mental health disorders (MHD) or co-occurring MHDs and substance use disorders (MHSUDs) involved with the justice system in Hamilton County, OH (HC). MHRSB is not a previous JMHCP grantee. HC includes Cincinnati, OH’s 3rd largest city. It is almost evenly split between women (52%) and men (48%). 50% are White and 41% Black. Blacks have higher poverty rates (35%) than Whites (17%). Criminal justice and behavioral health face challenges from the growing prevalence of MHDs. OH had the largest increases in adults with any mental illness. Blacks bear a disproportionate burden of disability from MHDs and are less likely to receive treatment. The pandemic exacerbated MHDs and increased psychiatric emergencies and overdoses. Lack of crisis services result in law enforcement (LE) serving as the de facto emergency response system for behavioral health emergencies (BHE), hindering public safety and increasing the risk of arrest and fatal encounters. Structural racism exacerbates these risks among Blacks. HC’s crisis continuum has two of the three core elements – a crisis call center and mobile crisis. It lacks a crisis receiving and stabilization center (CRSC), a place to go for BHEs. CRSCs deemphasize LE’s role in BHEs, safely address MHDs, and redirect resources from containment to treatment. Partners will implement a 12-month planning and 24-month implementation phase. A cross-system committee will develop HC-CRSC based on best practice guidelines. Key planning activities will include a needs assessment and CRSC site visit. The culmination of this process will be an operations guide to inform the phased implementation of a 24/7, 365-day, no-wrong-door CRSC focused on LE drop-off for persons with MHDs/MHSUDs. Services will be evidence-based and provided by a multidisciplinary team trained to manage all crisis levels. Strategies to advance racial equity, a BJA priority area, will be integrated into HC-CRSC. The program will achieve efficient LE drop-off, deescalate crises, address safety needs, and link to services. HC-CRSC will serve 2,281 clients by 9/30/25 with plans to scale up operations in October 2025. Coordination across partners will create a robust crisis system that brings the right response and responders at the right time to reduce recidivism and address the needs of people with MHDs.