Santa Barbara County Co-Response Team Named Innovator of the Year by South Coast Chamber of Commerce

Goleta’s Finest Innovator of the Year Awarded to Collaboration Between Santa the Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Behavioral Wellness

Missy Miller (left), LMFT, Co-Response Clinician with Behavioral Wellness and Cherylynn Lee, PhD, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Sciences Manager | Credit: Courtesy

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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Co-Response Team was named the Innovator of the Year at the 2022 South Coast Chamber of Commerce Goleta’s Finest Awards. This year’s award recipients were honored at a formal celebration on December 17 at the Ritz-Carlton Baccara, which included a dinner and awards ceremony.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness work as partners in the operation of the Co-Response team model.  This model has significantly impacted our local community through collaborative problem-solving.  The mission of the Co-Response teams is to de-escalate crises and divert people who are impacted by mental illness, as well as co-occurring substance use disorders, from the criminal justice system when safe and appropriate to do so.

The Co-Response team began as a pilot program in 2018 and has been so successful that it has expanded to three teams countywide.  The model of a Sheriff deputy working side by side with a Behavioral Wellness clinician to collaboratively respond to crisis calls has become an integral part of our community.

Learn more about the Santa Barbara County Co-Response teams through this video. The Co-Response team can be accessed by calling 911.  For linkage to mental health services or for urgent or crisis needs, please call the Behavioral Wellness 24/7 Access line at 1-888-868-1649.  To learn more about the County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, please visit


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