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 https://www.countyofsb.org/274/Behavioral-Wellness.


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