At a grant celebration on May 26, the Legacy Foundation awarded $2,844,289 to four nonprofit organizations focused on improving behavioral health services in Cochise County. Behavioral health services encompass both mental health and substance use disorder.
Through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, several organizations were invited to apply for a Strategic Grant. The Strategic Grant focused on behavioral health projects that could be implemented over the next three years. The following four organizations were selected by the Legacy Foundation Board to receive Strategic Grant funds:
Cochise College was awarded $550,062 to create a Behavioral Health Sciences Certification. The program will create certification as a Behavioral Health Tech, a position that will help fill the workforce gap. The Behavioral Tech program will be open to anyone interested in starting a career in behavioral health.
Cochise County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $1,263,449 for a Cochise County Mental Health Support Team (MHST). This project recruits 4 behavioral health professionals to work from within the Sheriff’s Office. Members of the MHST will be trained in Crisis Intervention Techniques and respond to crisis calls. The MHST will support school counseling services, other mental health programs, and the county jail to reduce recidivism. Additionally, the MHST will create multi-level peer support and mental health wellness programs. The MHST covers all of Cochise County.
La Frontera-SEABHS was awarded $750,778 to expand behavioral health services in Cochise County. Expansion includes increased capacity for transitional housing, particularly for those with behavioral health issues who are homeless or being discharged from jail. Capacity will increase from 19 beds to 35 beds. Funding includes creating a commercial kitchen for the transitional housing program. The transitional housing expansion is located in Benson.
Additionally, the grant will also be used toward the development of 40 residential substance abuse treatment beds. The treatment facility will also house a 24-hour drop-off, particularly for law enforcement, and an observation unit. The observation unit will assist in the diversion of individuals with behavioral health issues from unnecessary incarceration. These services are all located in Sierra Vista.
Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. was awarded $280,000 for tenant improvements for over 4500 square feet of office space to be used for dedicated behavioral health services. The offices are located in Sierra Vista.
We’re excited to see the collective impact these projects will have in Cochise County over the next three years and beyond.