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Columbia County unveils mental health program

Feb 01, 2021 6:00 am

Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, along with the county Mental Health Department and Greener Pathways has launched a new referral program to help residents get mental health and addiction treatment. “We are excited to launch this program to bring help and support to those in need in our community,” Sheriff David Bartlett said in a statement. “The possibilities are endless with this simple referral program and we are already thinking of ways we can share it with other law-enforcement agencies in Columbia County as well as refer to more county departments and organizations such as [the Department of Social Services].” Under the program, if a deputy interacts with someone who needs mental health services or addiction help, they can now submit an online referral request to the Mental Health Department or Greener Pathways. Then caseworkers and peer advocates from these agencies will reach out to the individual and offer the services to help them. The program originated from ideas and suggestions made during the county police reform meetings. “This is a great first step in ensuring all of our residents have access to mental health care,” Dan Almasi, acting director of community services and department head from the Columbia County Department of Mental Health, said in a statement. “...My office is excited to collaborate with Sheriff Bartlett and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that people who are struggling and in need of support receive the care they need in a timely fashion.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.