Happy new year from the Behavioral Health Outreach team! For those of you don't know us, our home base is on the 3rd floor of City Hall. We work with police in Poulsbo, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, and at the Sheriff's Office. Did you know that there are over 200 calls to Kitsap 911, each month, involving mental health issues and behavioral crisis? Police refer people to our team after they respond to these kinds of calls. Our two behavioral health specialists-or Navigators--work in the field to connect people to services. We help however we can to find needed resources, get around obstacles, and connect people to treatment.
We assisted approximately 100 individuals a month in 2017 through police and court referrals. Navigators from our team helped create the new Behavioral Health Court in Port Orchard. Our Navigators will work with families and caregivers, in 2018, to create Crisis Plans to use in emergency situations. They will also do outreach, where possible, after every suicide attempt in Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island.
Our 2018 team is made up of two Navigators-Kelsey Lynch and Ashton Quinlan-and Project Manager Kim Hendrickson. (We said goodbye to Matt Duthie in December, who has been a part of our team since its inception, and are currently advertising for a third Navigator.) Our work is overseen by Mayor Erickson, Chief Schoonmaker, and Deputy Chief Dan Brown. The program is funded by County Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Treatment Tax dollars and could not exist without the assistance of City staff and our partners at the Poulsbo Police Department. We appreciate your support-and look forward to working with you this new year!
Behavioral Health Outreach program at a glance
What we do: connect people to services and treatment after police contact (we are not treatment providers)
Who we serve: anyone with a mental illness or co-occuring chemical dependency issue who is referred to us by police.
What are our goals:
reduce police contact with individuals with behavioral health issues, increase the coordination between the criminal justice system and health care providers, give police an additional resource to assist people in need of care.