SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – Sacramento County deputies and counselors are teaming up to address the mental health issues in our region.
"I'll take the welfare check at this point," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Deputy Emily Ball during a ride-along.
Ball and Sandy Stowell, with County Behavioral Services, are one of four teams divided across the region to help on mental health calls.
"We have a lot of folks who are struggling in a lot of different ways," Stowell said.
While their skills are from two different departments, they work towards one goal.
"We are out there to help you," Ball said.
The team was brought together to address the growing need in our community that's funded through county money and grant money.
Each and every day, they're out in the community trying to make a difference.
"This one we're not sure whether it's mental health or not, but there could be a mental health component. So we're going to go to this one," Stowell said as a call came in.
Ball brings the safety component and Stowell brings her mental health expertise on each call.
"I'm sorry you're going through this right now," Stowell said to one woman while they assessed the situation.
The team was able to help offer guidance and ultimately defuse the situation. They said it's not always that easy. But during times of crisis, they try to be there to assist officers during the call.
"To identify...somebody who is a true diagnosed mental health patient versus someone who is experiencing some trauma at the moment, it's really important...because you're going to treat them very differently," Ball said.
The two have taught each other important lifelong lessons including how to better serve our community.
"Being able to work with people in crisis in the moment when they need it the most has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my career," Stowell said.
It doesn't stop there. The team has peer members who continually follow up with individuals who needed the help to prevent future need for crisis services.
The program began in 201,5 and because of the great success, they now have four teams that cover the entire Sacramento region.
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