FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County has been awarded $1.2 million to expand its mental health services for children and young adults to help keep them out of the criminal justice system, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said Flagler Cares developed the proposal to expand services in partnership with county commissioners, Halifax Health and Flagler County Schools as well as the sheriff’s office.
The state’s Criminal Justice Mental Health Substance Abuse Reinvestment Grant focuses on keeping children and young adults out of the criminal justice system. The grant will help expand a previously established initiative in the county that has provided mental health services to more than 340 students, according to the sheriff’s office.
“This initiative that started with a small planning grant in 2017 is a perfect example of how Flagler organizations are willing to truly collaborate to create a safety net in our county,” Flagler CARES Executive Director Carrie Baird said in a news release. “It is challenging work, but this is where Flagler County shines.”
Deputies said the grant will expand the program to young adults up to age 25.
“The new program will continue the behavioral health coordination services provided by staff at Flagler County Schools and Halifax Health and will expand behavioral health services provided to students participating in the district’s Restorative School program,” a news release from the sheriff’s office said.
The money will also go toward creating two new behavioral health positions in the FCSO that will join deputies in mental health crisis calls “to deescalate situations.”