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The Legislature, by unanimous vote, authorized the County to enter into agreements necessary to support development of a Behavioral Health Mobile Crisis Team by the Tompkins County Mental Health Department. The Team will fulfill the community need for round-the-clock behavioral health crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization services, for individuals and families experiencing urgent concerns related to mental health and substance abuse issues.
Public Health Director Frank Kruppa told Legislators the program will expand the department’s existing Emergency Services Program, with a team of providers and social workers available to work to deescalate situations and connect people with services to help them. Development of the Team, it was noted, will increase public safety, decrease unnecessary hospitalizations, and decrease unnecessary legal involvement or incarcerations for those experiencing behavioral health crises.
The Department will enter into a professional services agreement with the non-profit Care Compass Network (the region’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment provider), which will provide two years of start-up funding, including financial support for individuals who are otherwise unable to pay for mental health services. Kruppa said the project is projected to be self-sustaining after the initial two-year period, with any additional expense expected to be covered by generated revenue.