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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

 Source: Surf City Break

Huntington Beach to Receive $1.5M in State Funding for Mental Health Services


SurfCityBreakJuly 5, 2022

The City of Huntington Beach is set to receive $1.5 million in funding as part of the State of California’s Budget Act of 2022. The $1.5 million, which was sponsored by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, is allocated for use on mental health services within Huntington Beach, more specifically the City’s mobile crisis response program, BeWellOC in Huntington Beach.

“I’m so proud to have secured $1.5 million to support the mobile crisis response program in Huntington Beach,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. “We must deliver more direct services to people on the streets, and this state funding will pay for professionally trained mobile crisis unit staff to address mental health, substance abuse, and homeless response in real-time rather than continuing to deploy police officers to calls for service.”

Approved by the City Council in April 2021 and launched in August 2021, BeWell is a mobile crisis response team that assists the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) in responding to non-criminal and non-violent mental health calls for service. By utilizing BeWell, HBPD officers are able to prioritize calls for service relating to crime and conduct proactive patrol operations as opposed to responding to mental health calls that a trained crisis counselor may be better prepared to manage. A team of two mobile crisis counselors provide in-community assessment and stabilization, as well as follow-up support and case management.

“Over the last several years we have made addressing mental health a priority in Huntington Beach. The fact that we were the first City to rollout the BeWell program is a testament to that,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Barbara Delgleize. “I am grateful for the backing and effort put forth by Assemblymember Petrie-Norris on the City’s behalf to acquire this funding and further support mental health within our community.”

Huntington Beach receives approximately 15,000 calls for service annually related to mental health, substance abuse, and similar crises. Recognizing the importance of mental health services, in addition to BeWell, the City has also added a Deputy Director of Homelessness and Behavioral Health to support ongoing mental health initiatives and programs. Working together with the community and faith-based partners, the City of Huntington Beach has created a system of care that provides a wide range of support and services for those with issues related to mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness.

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