How County Elected Officials Can Support Crisis Triage Centers: A Place for Community Members to Go During a Behavioral Health Emergency
County elected officials can support community members during a behavioral health emergency by increasing access to services such as crisis triage centers. These centers offer residents a physical location to access stabilization, treatment and connections to community-based services. By increasing access to crisis triage centers, counties can serve the needs of community members with behavioral health conditions, reserve emergency departments and law enforcement officers for other priorities and direct resources to improve community well-being.
County elected officials can assist by:
- Determining the need, through resource and process mapping to understand if a crisis triage center is appropriate
- Ensuring collaboration across county agencies and community partners to best serve residents through integrated care, and
- Securing funding from federal, state, local and private sources to develop a center and sustain operations.
Lehigh County, Pa. is easing the load on public defenders with the help of social workers and will add the state's first county-funded pardon coordinator.
FreeWriters program helps improve communication between inmates, staff.
In early December, the Senate introduced the Local 9-8-8 Response Act of 2023. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), aims to enhance mental health crisis response through the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
In 2018, Congress passed the Substance-Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act. On September 30, many policy provisions in the original package expired, requiring congressional reauthorization to continue these critical programs among a worsening overdose crisis.
Every other week, NACo’s County Countdown reviews top federal policy advocacy items with an eye towards counties and the intergovernmental partnership. In this week’s edition – our last County Countdown of the year – we are looking ahead to 2024, and some of the top policy issues for counties.