Lexington to receive state grant to support mental health crisis response, Beshear announces

via news release

Gov. Beshear announced [Thursday] the next step toward becoming a national leader in mental health care as more than $4.7 million in federal and state funds are being provided to seven municipalities to implement community crisis co-response programs in the commonwealth. The partnerships between behavioral health professionals, law enforcement or other first responders and local governments are intended to lower the distress of individuals in crisis and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and incarcerations while extending crisis services to communities.

The funding was announced through a Cabinet for Health and Family Services grant that Medicaid administers, and communities were invited last fall to apply. The next round of funding will be posted to the Office of Administrative Services’ Grants Opportunities webpage this fall.

Today’s awardees include:

  • Boyle County Fiscal Court
  • Christian County Fiscal Court
  • Cynthiana Police Department
  • Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
  • Maysville Police Department
  • Perry County Ambulance Authority
  • Warren County Sheriff’s Office 

Several grant recipients sent videos about what the funding will do in their communities. To see the video provided by Maysville Police Chief Michael Palmer, click here. To see the video Boyle County Judge/Executive Trille Bottom provided, click here. To see a video provided by Perry County EMT Scott Helle, click here.

“This grant will allow us to better care for the patients in our community experiencing mental health crises,” said Mike Rogers, director of Boyle County Emergency Medical Services. “The implementation of this grant in Danville will ease the burden on our law enforcement, hospital, judicial system and emergency services.”

Christian County Judge/Executive Jerry Gilliam said, “We are excited about this opportunity to help our law enforcement and first responders connect individuals to behavioral health services, ensuring a continuity of behavioral health care.”

“This will be an invaluable resource to the most vulnerable members of our citizenry,” said Robert Peak, assistant chief of the Cynthiana Police Department. “Realizing that mental health and chemical dependency cannot be fully addressed by traditional police strategies is key to implementing programs such as this. To say our agency is appreciative of this grant would be an understatement, and we look forward to the challenges and impactful potential of this endeavor.”

“This grant award will provide an innovative resource to our first responders who are called to individuals experiencing behavioral and mental health emergencies,” said Lexington Fire Department Captain Seth Lockard. “To be on the front of these programs, we hope to learn from our fellow communities working in this space and hope to become a resource for communities that decide to develop similar programs in the future.”

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said, “Having qualified professionals working alongside our team of law enforcement will help expedite and assess the needed care for those in crisis, which better serves our community.”