In August 2021, the City of Huntington Beach, in partnership with Be Well OC, launched Orange County’s first mobile mental health response program, known as Be Well OC in Huntington Beach. The program is a mobile response team, composed of two crisis counselors who deliver in-community assessment and stabilization to residents experiencing mental health and substance use challenges, as well as other concerns that require a non-emergency response. To mark the program’s first year of operation, the City has released a comprehensive report highlighting calls for service, response data, and successes.
“The health and safety of our residents is of the utmost concern to myself and the City Council, and that includes mental health,” said Huntington Beach Mayor, Barbara Delgleize. “The Be Well OC program has not only offered our residents with an additional mental health solution, but has also established itself as a critical resource to support our Public Safety personnel.”
The Huntington Beach Police Department’s dispatch center receives over 15,000 calls for service annually related to mental health crises. Be Well OC in Huntington Beach responds to individuals needing immediate support to manage their mental health issues and provides case management to link them to ongoing services. These services help free up officers to focus on crime prevention, proactive law enforcement, and quality of life issues; while providing trained crisis counselors to respond to those in need of mental health supportive services.
Between August 2021 and July 2022, the Be Well team responded to 2,040 calls for service in Huntington Beach and conducted 408 follow-up contacts. The team is trained to respond to and de-escalate situations such as:
• Mental health crisis
• Drug and alcohol use issues
• Proactive outreach to the homeless
• Non-domestic violence/family disputes
• Welfare checks
• Death notifications
To learn more about the program, and to read the 2022 Annual Report, please visit the Be Well OC in Huntington Beach webpage.