inRESPONSE Mental Health Support Team

Introducing inRESPONSE: Santa Rosa’s (soon-to-be) Mental Health Support Team

To take action on community needs and feedback, a new crisis response team has been formed – inRESPONSE: Mental Health Support Team. inRESPONSE is designed to respond to calls for service with a mental health first approach. The team is comprised of a licensed mental health clinician, a paramedic, a homeless outreach specialist, and supported by a wrap-around support services provider.  inRESPONSE will be trained in de-escalation and social work interventions as well as physical and mental health evaluations. While inRESPONSE works in partnership with the Santa Rosa Police Department, the inRESPONSE team is unarmed and best equipped to support and provide mental health resources to individuals and families experiencing crisis. 

How will inRESPONSE provide support in the community?

The inRESPONSE team will respond to calls in which individuals are experiencing a mental health crisis, and are unarmed.  If there is any indication of violence or a weapon, an SRPD officer will initially respond first, but then transition service response to the inRESPONSE Team, once it is deemed safe.  The goal is for the inRESPONSE Team to handle all calls for service where mental health is the primary concern.  inRESPONSE will also partner with the City’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) to identify unsheltered community members who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.  The dual approach will provide the unsheltered community with additional resources, in an effort to get individuals into a more stable living environment with ongoing, wrap-around support services.

inRESPONSE will provide service with a single team working 10-hour shifts, seven days a week. As part of a three year-phased plan, SRPD hopes to secure the necessary resources and funding needed to support a 24/7 mental health response model and is actively exploring grants and other state and federal funding opportunities, as well as private funding to help expand the capacity of inRESPONSE.

Types of Calls for Service inRESPONSE will Address:

  • Individuals with suicidal ideations 
  • Sheltered or unsheltered individuals experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Individuals or families in need of mental health support and resources
  • Individuals who are intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Individuals struggling with mental health stability and in need of emergency shelter resources
  • Welfare checks (when no crime is suspected)
  • Requests for non-emergency medical evaluations and transports, including prescription drug refill transport and transportation to medical appointments
  • Deliver emergency or death notifications to next of kin

If there is any indication of violence or weapons, inRESPONSE would stage while Santa Rosa Police Department officers de-escalate the situation for inRESPONSE to then take over. 

Key Partners in the Development of inRESPONSE:

  • Buckelew Programs (Mental Health) 
  • Catholic Charities (Homeless Outreach) 
  • Santa Rosa Fire Department (Medical Response) 
  • County of Sonoma Behavior Health Division (Mobile Support Team) 

Recognizing inRESPONSE Out in the Community

inRESPONSE logo web imageWith the inRESPONSE Team preparing to launch this fall, thoughtful attention guided by community input has also gone into the inRESPONSE logo design. This new logo will help the community to identify the Team once they are in service in Santa Rosa, so it was important for SRPD to meet with community members, non-profit organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Sonoma County, and other stakeholders in mental health advocacy to seek feedback, not only on the program but also on the various elements of the program’s logo design. The color green was selected because it is recognized internationally to represent mental health awareness. The hands symbolize ongoing support as people and families transition from crisis to healing.  Combined these elements support the mission of inRESPONSE, which is committed to the process of helping individuals and families get the services and support they need to thrive, not just be a resource only when someone is actively going through crisis.  

Timeline for What’s Next:

  • By late fall 2021 – Launch inRESPONSE, serving the community 10 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • By 2024 – Goal date to expand the program to a 24/7 mental health support model, pending funding and resources are successfully secured
    • This will be a phased process with expanded services as funding and staffing allow

Goals of the Program:

SRPD will be developing measures of success to constantly evaluate the progress of inRESPONSE in meeting the following program goals:

  • Reduction in number of Santa Rosa Police & Fire departments calls to mental health and homeless-related incidents
  • Reduced impact on local hospital emergency rooms
  • Decrease in criminal charges and arrests for people who experience a mental health crisis
  • More complete and holistic/wraparound services efforts focused on an upstream approach
  • An increase in the number of individuals (or their loved ones) who call for support when experiencing a mental crisis, rather than weathering it alone
  • Increased number of unsheltered individuals in need of mental health or substance abuse support, placed in long-term housing and provided wrap-around services

Community Input:

The inRESPONSE team was created from community feedback and continued community involvement is necessary to expand the program moving forward.   The Santa Rosa Police Department will continue to engage the community, local stakeholders and public safety allied agencies as we launch inRESPONSE and expand the program.  SRPD is committed to:

  • Developing community meetings with the assistance of the White Bird Clinic (CAHOOTS)
  • Continue to meet with local stakeholders to best understand the evolving needs of our community
  • Work with allied local police agencies, Santa Rosa Fire Department, Sonoma County Behavioral Health and REDCOM (medical dispatch) to examine and identify the countywide mental health needs  

Contact Person: 

For more information about the inRESPONSE program, please contact Santa Rosa Police Department Captain John Cregan at 707-543-4070 or jcregan@srcity.org.