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OC Health Care Agency granted $10 million for crisis mobile units

The OC Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Mental Health & Recovery Services (MHRS) team is being awarded $10 million dollars to expand its behavioral crisis continuum in Orange County. Funding is awarded from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Crisis Care Mobile Units (CCMU) program. The program provides funding for county and city behavioral health departments to implement new and enhanced CCMUs. The HCA is one of many recipients, with over $140 million already distributed to similar programs statewide.

These additional funds are planned to support and/or expand the mobile behavioral health crisis services across Orange County, including:

  • Purchasing new vehicles for the field crisis team
  • Crisis trainings for Peer Specialists
  • Upgraded technology for crisis teams and vehicles
  • Additional integrated resources for all county residents

The County’s current crisis system includes the Crisis Assessment Team (CAT), Outreach and Engagement team, and OC Links. Mobile crisis services are available to reach any person in the service area in a home, school, workplace, or any other field-based location.

“We are very excited to draw down these funds to better support the efforts of our crisis response system of care,” said Dr. Veronica Kelley, HCA Chief of Mental Health and Recovery Services. “These funds will allow us to better leverage current services, allowing more options for assistance with transportation to needed levels of care, technology, and training. This will help to ensure Orange County residents experiencing a behavioral health crisis get the help they need, when they need it.”

The County’s CAT program provides prompt response in the field when an individual is experiencing a behavioral health crisis. A behavioral health crisis may include a mental health crises, substance use crises, or co-occurring mental health and substance use crises. County clinicians respond to calls from anyone in the community and are dispatched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. Individuals are connected to appropriate care and clinicians follow-up with individuals and/or their parents/guardians to provide information and referrals for ongoing mental health and recovery services.

California’s DHCS is utilizing funding for these grants from the broader Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program (BHCIP), with focus being on the development and expansion of behavioral health CCMUs throughout California. For more information on California’s Crisis Care Mobile Units (CCMU) grant program, visit: here

If you or someone you know is experience a mental health or substance crisis, call OC Links 24/7 at: (855) 625-4657 or visit OC Links.

This article was released by the OC Health Care Agency.