Challenges outlined for new mental-health crisis response in Santa Cruz County

CALIFORNIA Santa Cruz Local April 29, 2022

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY>> A new 988 phone number for emergency mental-health response is due to start in Santa Cruz County in July, but a lack of state money has delayed some of its intent to separate law enforcement from mental-health crisis response.

Nine-eight-eight is being introduced nationwide as an alternative to 911 for mental health emergencies. In California, its intent is to deploy mental health professionals as first responders rather than law enforcement officers who often aren’t trained to resolve mental health crises.