Santa Rosa, CA – January 9, 2019 – The Sonoma County Mobile
Support Team (MST), a crisis response program that supports local law
enforcement responding to individuals experiencing a mental health emergency, is expanding its services beginning January
The expanded service
areas in West County and Sonoma Valley will include: Sebastopol, Graton,
Forestville, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Boyes Hot Springs, and
Sonoma. Currently, the MST works in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park,
Cotati, and Petaluma and takes calls from the Sonoma County Sheriff, Santa Rosa
Police Department, Santa Rosa Junior College District Police, Rohnert Park
Police Department, Cotati Police Department, and Petaluma Police
The MST aims to provide support to requesting law
enforcement officers responding to a behavioral health emergency by linking individuals
in crisis to needed resources, decrease negative outcomes, increase the safety
of law enforcement and individuals in crisis, and connect individuals to services
that best meet their needs following the incident.
Sonoma County Third
District Supervisor Shirlee Zane lobbied for the MST, which partners local
police with the expertise of licensed mental health clinicians and
certified substance abuse disorders counselors from the Department of Health
Services (DHS) Behavioral Health Division.
“It took my first
four years as Supervisor to launch the MST program in 2012 and it is wonderful
see it grow to include more areas in the County. However, our work doesn’t stop
here and to sustain this program over the long term, we’ll need to identify
additional funding resources for MST and other critical behavioral health
services,” said Zane.
The MST expansion represents real progress in the County’s
efforts to increase public safety and provide more positive outcomes for
families and community members when confronted with behavioral health
Sonoma County Behavioral Director Bill Carter said the goal
of having such services is to increase better outcomes for all involved.
“Improving crisis services is a priority and the MST program
is a key part of this effort. Programs like MST provide critical crisis
interventions that link people to the appropriate services within Sonoma
County’s system of care,” said Carter.
The MST is a model for crisis intervention that allows those
experiencing behavioral health emergencies to get the services they need, which
reduces strain on law enforcement when responding to such calls and prevents
individuals in crises from impacting the jail system.
“The County’s Mobile Support Team has been a great mental
health resource for our deputies in the field handling crisis situations. I’m
very excited to see the expansion of these services to new areas the County.
Working together collaboratively, we will be able to much better serve the
residents of Sonoma County,” said newly elected Sheriff, Mark Essick.
To learn more about the DHS Behavioral Health Division’s
Mobile Support Team, go to https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Behavioral-Health/Community-Response-and-Engagement/Mobile-Support-Team/