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Expand and enhance Mental Health Liaison's assigned to the Sheriff's Office Patrol Division.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Santa Cruz
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $550,000)

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office in partnership with the County Health Service Agency’s Behavioral Health Services Division propose to expand the Mental Health Liaison Unit, a co-responder and community response strategy, to increase response to calls for individuals experiencing mental health disorders and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This synchronous co-responder team leverages expertise, knowledge, and services through its partners, a myriad of agencies and non-profit agencies providing health, substance use treatment and community resources to the target population to promote positive change for individuals experiencing mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders. The purpose of the Mental Health Unit is to implement early intervention for multisystem-involved individuals in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County with a priority focus to address disproportionately low response rates to the Latino/Hispanic community in the underserved southern areas of the county; maximize diversion opportunities; and facilitate the seamless delivery of support services and treatment from community providers and governmental partners. Project activities include increasing the capacity of the Mental Health Liaison Unit to effectively respond to calls; implement multi-faceted community outreach strategy to connect, protect, and serve the Latino/Hispanic community; assess and enhance computer automated dispatch data collected and analysis; and increase public safety, reduce recidivism, and decrease repeat encounters and arrests. Expected outcomes include enhanced delivery of multi-disciplinary and evidenced-based coordinated care and treatment for underserved individuals in Santa Cruz County for improved well-being; implement a community-coordinated outreach plan to support Latino/Hispanic community; Mental Health Liaisons fluidly partner with Sheriff Deputies and increase rates of response and connection to services; conduct regular program assessments of call data and response rates; reduction in recidivism, repeat encounters and arrest of individuals in Santa Cruz County.

Date Created: September 26, 2023