Skip to main content

Triage Site Visits

August 15, 2017

The Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness Triage program consists of several program sites in the form of crisis centers and clinics within the county. MHSOAC staff visited three of these crisis centers, one of which, the Behavioral Wellness Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Santa Barbara, is pictured below. This 8 bed crisis residential facility is staffed by a psychiatric nurse and peer specialists. It provides a less restrictive alternative to hospitalization while allowing a client in crisis to stabilize. Once a patient is stabilized and discharged, they are linked to outside services. In addition, program site staff work closely with the Sheriff’s Department and area hospitals. 


April 7, 2017

Triage: Encounter-based data cap

Triage encounter-based data capture for San Francisco was presented with a Program Evaluation Report from 2014 to 2016.

Highlights of the report include:
•    An increase in the number of clients being served.
•    Latino/Latina clients was the ethnicity most served.
•    The total number of clients seen by the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) was 676.
•    Twenty one percent of these clients visited the CSU two or more times.
•    The total number of clients seen by the Mobile Treatment Teams (MTT) was 49.
•    The top three most prevalent needs were depression, family stress, and judgment problems.

Edgewood Center for Children and Families


Edgewood Center for Children and Families is a residential treatment facility that helps children, youth, and their families who are struggling with mental illness and behavioral issues. Among the services offered are: Consultation and Training, Prevention and Early Intervention, Day and Afterschool Treatment, and Residential Treatment. The Triage team met Edgewood’s Mobile Treatment Team (MTT); the MTT offers a continuum of care services: wrap-around support, after-hospital care, helping clients establish community and educational support, advocating for integration into schools, connecting people to employment opportunities and connecting long term needs.. Edgewood MTT recognizes the importance of cultural competency: the team respects and integrates cultural traditions and beliefs when providing treatment. Length of stay at Edgewood is 3 to 6 months.

The Warm Line

The San Francisco-based peer-run Warm Line is a non-crisis telephone and chat line for those in need of emotional support and information about mental health resources. In addition to regular suicide prevention training, the Warm Line is unique in that all of its staff have “lived experience”-- personal experience with their own mental health challenges. The Warm Line uses a recovery model, with staff making referrals through a shared support network. Staff are able to provide information based on a referral database containing over 600 services such as housing, support groups, and food. Most calls made are by phone and last about 20 to 25 minutes, with up to 3,000 calls per month. 83 percent of all calls are repeat callers, demonstrating the personal connections made through the Warm line. Text-based chats last for about 30 to 35 minutes, with most clients being teenagers. As part of a client survey, 80 percent have stated that they were very satisfied with the Warm Line.

July 20, 2016

Marin County peer counselors, part of the Transitions team.
Staff from the MHSOAC triage team visited Marin County on July 20, 2016 to learn more about the triage programs in the county.  Staff from the Mobile Crisis Response Team, Marin General Hospital, Marin Housing Authority and Casa Rene shared their experience in developing and coordinating triage referrals and services.  OAC staff visited Casa Rene and were inspired from hearing a client speak about his recent experience there.

June 22, 2016

Spirit Empowerment Center Executive Director Janelle Kirkman

Sierra Mental Wellness Group Crisis Stabilization Unit

Artwork over the fireplace at the Insight Respite Center

The MHSOAC triage team visited Nevada County on June 22, 2016, meeting with staff at Nevada County Behavioral Health, the Spirit Empowerment Center, and the Insight Respite Center.  OAC staff heard Janelle Kirkman, the executive director of the Spirit Empowerment Center, talk of her lived experience and how her position as ED has inspired her (it inspired us, too!).  OAC staff also traveled to the Sierra Mental Wellness Group Crisis Stabilization Unit which provides 23 hour stabilization for individuals in crisis; it opened in December 2015.  And finally, a visit to the Insight Respite Center which provides a safe, nurturing temporary home for people in crisis.  Peer supporters, trained in trauma informed models, are available 24 hours a day. 

May 18, 2016

Staff from the MHSOAC triage unit met with staff from Napa County’s Health and Human Services Agency and went to the Community Health clinic, Ole Health, where triage workers co-locate twice a week.  OAC staff also visited VOICES, a transition-age youth drop-in center and Hope Center, a drop-in center for homeless individuals.  Finally, OAC staff went to COPE Center, a family support services center where triage workers offer services.

April 6, 2016

Two of the five transition-age youth clients who were part of a panel discussion about their lives and experiences at the Bay Area Community Services Townhouse.
The MHSOAC triage staff visited two sites in Alameda County:  The Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and the BACS (Bay Area Community Services) Townhouse where a panel of Transition Age Youth spoke about their lives and how services have helped them.  

April 27, 2016

The MHSOAC Triage staff traveled to Calaveras County to visit with the County Health and Human Services staff to hear more about the triage programs in the county.  OAC staff also met with Calaveras County Acting Sheriff Ed Ballard.  A group of veterans spoke to the OAC staff about their experiences, challenges and the needs within the rural community.