Mental health professionals will soon join law enforcement officials in responding to incidents involving individuals suffering from a mental or behavioral health crisis within San Mateo County’s four largest cities.
Today, the County’s Board of Supervisors approved a two-year pilot program for Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City and South San Francisco partnering licensed mental health clinicians with law enforcement officers. The full-time clinicians are expected to be “embedded in the departments by April” and will be deployed on calls for service by trained 911 dispatchers, the County said.
“The goal of the immediate response will be to de-escalate the crisis and to support the safety of the individual in crisis, those around the individual, and all responding to the incident,” said Scott Gilman, director of County Health’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
The clinician will be tasked with assessing and determining the best course of action for a person in crisis, including guidance on care.
“If police determine the scene is safe, the clinician will assess the individual and, in collaboration with officers, help identify opportunities for intervention and care,” according to the County.