29 Nov Health Department Offering Mental Health Help 24/7 as of Friday
(Contra Costa Health Services via Bay City News)
By Tony Hicks
Bay City News
People in Contra Costa County can get support during a behavioral health crisis 24/7, beginning Friday.
Contra Costa Health said Tuesday that its A3 program will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People facing a behavioral health, mental health or substance use crisis can call the A3 Miles Hall Crisis Call Center 24/7 at (844) 844-5544 for care over the phone and have an in-person team dispatched to them if needed.
“Using our new Measure X sales tax funds to make immediate mental health crisis response available anytime to all Contra Costans will improve quality of life and reduce the harm caused by mental health challenges,” John Gioia, chairperson of the county Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “Having round-the-clock mental health services available throughout Contra Costa has been a long-time need and we are proud that we can now provide these vital services at any time.”
The county said the need for A3’s robust, immediate response is evident, with behavioral health issues the third-most common call ambulances respond to in the county.
People needing behavioral health crisis support can call A3 to talk to trained professionals who can provide care over the phone and connections to follow-up care or send a team to respond in person when needed. Most callers’ needs are resolved over the phone.
“About one in five adults in Contra Costa County struggles with behavioral health issues, but the stigma around mental health and addiction can make it hard to seek help,” Supervisor Diane Burgis said in a statement. “Too often, people suffer through a behavioral health crisis in silence. Expanding A3 to respond around the clock makes it easier for people experiencing behavioral health problems, and their loved ones, to get the professional, caring support they need.”
A3 has grown from a pilot project in 2021 to soon operating 24/7. Currently, A3 responds to about 200 calls and dispatches 30 mobile teams per week. They helped over 2,900 callers in 2022 and expect that number to grow to more than 4,500 people this year.
“Behavioral health crisis care is more accessible than ever before in Contra Costa County, thanks to the vision and hard work of our A3 team and community partners, including people with lived experience, family members, advocates, community groups, law enforcement, cities, fire and emergency medical responders and behavioral health professionals,” said Anna Roth, Contra Costa Health CEO.
A3 is Contra Costa County’s approach to providing timely and appropriate behavioral health crisis services to anyone, anywhere, at any time in the county.
Annual Measure X sales tax revenue supports the A3 Miles Hall Crisis Call Center, mobile response teams and connection to follow-up care for those in crisis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, call the A3 Miles Hall Crisis Call Center at (844) 844-5544. Learn more at cchealth.org/a3.
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