Columbia Co. lawmakers vote to fund MCAT
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Board of Supervisors has approved $175,000 in funding to maintain the county Mobile Crisis Assessment Team. The team is charged with assessing people and connecting them to appropriate services. It is made up of a mix of licensed professionals and paraprofessionals with a full-time staff of six and about 20 total staff members. The team works with the backing of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties. Greene County will also fund the program by contributing $175,000, according to a statement from the Board of Supervisors. Funding for the team was previously provided through the state, but was discontinued at the end of 2021. Columbia County’s portion of the funding comes through the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Act. The Mobile Crisis Assessment Team has served 6,115 people since it was established in 2015, team director Katherine Oldakowski said in a statement. That amount includes 3,059 people from Columbia County and 3,056 individuals from Greene County. Oldakowski said, “We’ve been dispatched just about 4,000 times for in-person assessments. We maintain a 93 percent diversion rate from unnecessary hospitalization. We maintain a 99 percent diversion rate from further police intervention.” The team not only aids people with mental health issues, but it also responds to calls from those with substance abuse issues as well. The Mobile Crisis Assessment Team can be reached at 518-943-5555. The line is staffed 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.