Santa Barbara, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness are excited to share a new video highlighting our Co-Response teams. In 2018, the Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Sciences Unit, along with the Behavioral Wellness Mobile Crisis team, partnered up to pilot a program wherein a crisis intervention trained deputy and a mental health clinician respond together as a team to mental health crisis calls that come through 911.
In 2020, this pilot program expanded to three full-time, grant funded Co-Response teams that respond to calls throughout Santa Barbara County. The mission of these Co-Response teams is to de-escalate crisis situations and divert persons with mental illness and persons with co-occurring substance use disorders, from the criminal justice system when safe and appropriate to do so. In the 2020, our three Co-Response teams handled 1,606 calls. Of those 1,606 calls, only 11 arrests were made.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Behavioral Wellness are excited to share an updated overview of the services that are provided by our Co-Response teams. Please visit the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office YouTube channel, SBSheriffs, to meet our Co-Response teams and learn more about this valuable, collaborative approach to mental health and co-occurring substance use disorder crises in Santa Barbara County. You can find even more information about the Co-Response program as well as the Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Science Unit at SBSheriff.org.
The Sheriff’s Office will be presenting additional information to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors during an upcoming meeting this October or November. We encourage the public to watch for this presentation, titled “Sheriff’s and Behavioral Wellness’ County Co-Response 2020 Quantitative and Qualitative Data and Outcomes Review” on the BOS agenda and participate in public comment as the County plans for the future of this program after the grand funding expires in late 2022. You can find agendas for upcoming BOS meetings on the County Board of Supervisor’s website: CountyofSB.org/BOS.