Community Needs : Family Support Services, Mental Health
This grant will fund one additional counselor, reducing crisis response time and increasing the number of low-income youth receiving mental health services.
Safe Alternatives for Treating Youth (SAFTY) is the only mobile mental health response program in Santa Barbara county that focuses exclusively on youth experiencing mental health crises. SAFTY provides trained counselors to deal with youth who are suicidal, aggressive, acting out, embroiled in family conflict, or in danger of harming themselves or others.
SAFTY operates seven days a week, 8 AM to 8 PM, providing services over the phone or in person. When responding in person, SAFTY dispatches trained counselors to the scene to make a mental health assessment, stabilize the situation, and connect the person to appropriate resources. SAFTY also provides ongoing services to help stabilize youth for approximately 60 days after a crisis. This grant will provide an additional counselor, helping reduce response time and enabling more counseling support.
SAFTY’s crisis intervention reduces emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and juvenile justice involvement. SAFTY provides an alternative that is less costly and more likely to result in long-term stability for youth experiencing mental health challenges.