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Behavioral Health to host groundbreaking ceremony for treatment center

The Department of Behavioral Health invites community members to attend a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the construction of a 10-bed, short-term, recovery-based, Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) center in Joshua Tree.

“This center will be an asset to the Morongo Basin by providing individuals who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis with services, supports and interventions which promote recovery,” said Third District San Bernardino County Supervisor, James Ramos. “We must take a proactive approach to mental health issues, stop the stigma and be part of the solution by standing up for those who are suffering in silence. I would like to thank DBH for their efforts to bring these much needed services to the Morongo Basin.”
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Monday, June 26 from 10 to 11 a.m. at 60805 29 Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree.

“DBH is committed to providing effective behavioral health services and several avenues to reach those services. Through this CRT, and the other CRT’s and Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU’s) currently in construction throughout the County, we aim to reach more people with needed services, reduce involuntary hospitalizations and/or inappropriate incarcerations and promote recovery,” said Veronica Kelley, DBH Director. “With the support of our leaders, local law enforcement, emergency responders, health care personnel, and community members, we can create a county where all persons, including those who have experienced a mental illness, have the opportunity to enjoy optimum wellness.”

The CRT will provide effective behavioral health services while utilizing a cost-effective approach to treatment by serving as an appropriate alternative to hospital emergency department visits or calls to law enforcement for individuals experiencing a psychiatric emergency. Services at the CRT will include intake, assessment, physical and psychological evaluation and mental health and case management services, in a home-like environment. Construction on the CRT is expected to be completed by late January 2018.

For more information, please call Monica Rosas at (909) 388-0942 (711 for TTY users) or email mrosas@dbh.sbcounty.gov


May Mental Health Month Events

Meet the Artist (5/2/2017) Peer Support Summit (5/10/2017) Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Day (5/19/2017) Evening with the Stars (5/31/2017) Patton State Hospital Tours (Tuesdays throughout May)


North Park incident

Nation Wide Disaster Resources read more


2017 Call for Consumer Artwork

The 2017 Call for Consumer Artwork is Here! read more


Innovative local behavioral health program piques statewide interest

The “Let’s Get Healthy California” contest administered by the California Health and Human Services Agency and California Department of Public Health has selected the Department of Behavioral Health’s (DBH) Recovery Based Engagement Support Team (RBEST) as finalist in the lowering the cost of care category for its innovative method of providing greater access to behavioral health care and cost savings to the county.

RBEST was first developed in response to a 2012 report by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development indicating a 40 percent increase in psychiatric transfers to hospitals within San Bernardino County from 2010. Further review of local data indicated that caretakers of these individuals often relied on law enforcement and hospital emergency rooms as the only means of psychiatric care for their loved ones. This spurred the development of RBEST to reduce the inappropriate use of these providers by educating and engaging clients and families into proper outpatient behavioral health treatment and care.

RBEST engages these individuals and families by providing mobile, engagement sessions in their homes or anyplace that is most comfortable for those needing behavioral health related care. These sessions, facilitated by mental health specialists, peer and family advocates, or alcohol and drug counselors, provide participants with education, support, and referrals to outpatient treatment. This field-based, minimally structured environment has produced notable outcomes.

Per data by DBH’s Research and Evaluation, as of March 2016, RBEST has engaged with 364 individuals, who, when hospitalized prior to being engaged by RBEST, received an outpatient service within seven days of hospital discharge 38 percent of the time. After engagement with RBEST, 96 percent of these individuals received outpatient services within seven days of hospital discharge in their first 30 days after RBEST engagement. Hospital admissions after RBEST engagement were reduced by 43 percent, and those who were admitted experienced a shorter stay, with a 37 percent reduction in total hospital days.

“Our department has always been proud of the outcomes of RBEST and are obviously excited when others recognize the valuable work of our programs as well,” said Veronica Kelley, DBH Director. “More than anything, we are glad that RBEST has effectively empowered so many families in caring for their loved ones, and, through referrals from partner agencies such Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Canyon Ridge Psychiatric Hospital and Loma Linda Behavioral Medicine Center, has assisted DBH in identifying individuals not previously engaged in our system of care so that we are able to inform them of and direct them into appropriate treatment.”

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For more information on this release, contact DBH’s Public Information Office at (909) 383-3952.
Click here for a video RBEST


SB County homeless services designed with needs in mind

The Department of Behavioral Health Office of Homeless Services (OHS), in conjunction with the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership (SBCHP), will coordinate the Point-In-Time Count (PITC) in order to acquire an estimated number of homeless individuals and families in San Bernardino County on a given day, and to discover the specific needs.

“The PITC not only provides a measurement of the rate of homelessness in San Bernardino County, it offers insight into the characteristics of people and families sleeping on the street or in places not meant for human habitation. The information gathered by community volunteers is used a road map or blueprint to design current and future services that best serve our local homeless population,” said Tom Hernandez, Office of Homeless Services Officer.

Individuals and organizations are invited to volunteer to participate in the count, which will be conducted on Jan. 26 from 6 to 10 a.m. throughout San Bernardino County. Those who wish to volunteer must attend a training session being held from Jan. 5 through Jan. 20 throughout San Bernardino County.

Field team volunteers who are able to engage with homeless individuals or families will ask specific questions and offer hygiene kits and information on supportive services. Homeless persons who report a verifiable veteran status are provided with additional supports from veterans housing programs, such as transportation and immediate housing in many cases.

Jeanette Hill, a repeated volunteer with the count encourages others to participate by saying, “I look forward to helping each year because I feel it is important to try to reach out to the homeless population and let them know that we care. I have found that many are happy just to talk to someone who is truly interested in helping them. We cannot help them if we don’t know much about them, so the count provides a way to find out what is most needed.”

For more information or to register to be a volunteer, please visit www.sbcounty.gov/dbh/sbchp or call the Office of Homeless Services at (909) 386-8297 or email mkbletcher@dbh.sbcounty.gov.

The OHS works to develop countywide public and private partnerships and to coordinate services and resources to end homelessness in San Bernardino County. Through this, OHS is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by working to create a sustainable system of community health, public safety, and housing. Information on the Countywide Vision, OHS and the Department of Behavioral Health can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.


More Than Thirty Homeless Vets Housed for Veterans Day

November 10, 2016

This year in San Bernardino County, Veterans Day will not only serve as a day to recognize the invaluable service of veterans to our nation, but will also mark the day a county wide goal was achieved; a goal to provide homeless veterans with a place to call home.

Earlier this year, the San Bernardino County (SBC) Homeless Partnership, in collaboration with various government and community agencies, combined efforts to form the Homeless Veterans Community Planning Group. The group’s specific goal would be to work together and pool resources in order to provide supportive housing to 30 homeless veterans by Veterans Day 2016, a goal known as “Operation Reveille,” which originated with the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative as part of the nation-wide initiative to end Veterans homelessness.

At today’s recognition ceremony held at the SBC Department of Behavioral Health in San Bernardino, the Homeless Veterans Community Planning Group and the veterans who received supportive housing gathered to celebrate having surpassed their original goal by housing 34 veterans and to commemorate new beginnings.

Wayne Owens, a Vietnam era veteran who received housing today shared his story saying, “I haven’t had a place to call my own home for twenty years. I’ve lived on the street, in a car or have stayed with others, but now, finally, I have a place – with my name on it!” According to Crystal Chavira, from KEYS, a SBC Housing Authority affiliate nonprofit, Owens has spent the past six years living on the streets of San Bernardino but will be housed today, with his name attached to the lease agreement.

“The successes achieved by this year’s Operation Reveille serve as a great example of the collaborative effort of many to end Veterans homelessness in San Bernardino County,” said Karen Young-Lowe, CEO of LightHouse Social Service Centers and facilitator of the Homeless Veterans Community Planning Group. “The support of received by San Bernardino County CEO, Greg Devereaux, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Philip Mangano, community partners and agencies, have allowed us the ability to get this far and to continue our work towards the goal of ending homelessness for good.”

In addition to housing, the veterans will receive intensive case management, employment services, job training, legal assistance, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, social security, Veterans benefits, financial counseling, health care, household supplies and other supportive services.

“Building on the success of a San Bernardino County strategy that dramatically reduced veteran homelessness, the County’s Homeless Services initiative is partnering with local homeless providers to create a ‘surge’ of veteran housing placements to reduce the number even further,” indicated Philip Mangano who has worked with the County in fashioning a comprehensive homeless strategy. “Much credit goes to the Supervisors for supporting innovation and to Veterans Affairs Secretary McDonald who visited San Bernardino this year and affirmed the innovative initiatives adopted here.”

The Homeless Veterans Community Planning Group includes the SBC Department of Behavioral Health Office of Homeless Services, SBC Veterans Affairs, SBC Housing Authority, Loma Linda Veterans Affairs Hospital, Coordinated Entry, faith-based organizations, housing providers, non-profit agencies and businesses

The SBCHP works to develop countywide public and private partnerships and to coordinate services and resources to end homelessness in San Bernardino County. Through this, SBCHP is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by working to create a sustainable system of community health, public safety, and housing. Information on the Countywide Vision, the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership and the Department of Behavioral Health can be found at www.sbcounty.gov


Summit to share efforts made to end homelessness

The San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership (SBCHP), in collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health Office of Homeless Services, is hosting their 10th Annual Homeless Summit to inform stakeholders and community members of the current and future efforts that have been and will be made to address the issue of homelessness in San Bernardino County.

The Homeless Summit will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Orton Center on the University of Redlands campus, 1200 East Colton Ave. in Redlands. The summit is free.

“San Bernardino County is committed to ending chronic homelessness for individuals, families, and children. The Homeless Summit will serve to showcase present and future countywide efforts to end homelessness and improve the quality of life for all in our communities,” said Josie Gonzales, Fifth District Supervisor and Chair of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, who will be speaking at the event.

Other speakers will include: Tom Hernandez, Office of Homeless Services; Philip Mangano, American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness; James Ramos, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; Sam Tsemberis, Ph.D., Pathways to Housing; and Benjamin Henwood, Ph.D., MSW, University of Southern California.

Interested individuals can learn more about the Homeless Summit or register by visiting www.sbcounty.gov/dbh/sbchp or by calling Deanna Luttrell at (909) 386-8225 (7-1-1 for TTY users.)

The SBCHP works to develop countywide public and private partnerships and to coordinate services and resources to end homelessness in San Bernardino County. Through this, SBCHP is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by working to create a sustainable system of community health, public safety, and housing. Information on the Countywide Vision, the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership and the Department of Behavioral Health can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.