ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has received a $549,000 grant to train three deputies to work with mental health clinicians from Lakeview.

According to the sheriff’s office, with the grant, they will form two co-responder teams that will work alongside mental health professionals for mental health-related calls and provide immediate care and resources for community members in their time of need. The office said it will not only provide individuals with mental health-specific responses, but it will also free patrol deputies to answer other calls for service.

ECSO said they applied for the grant in May as part of the ECSO Mental Health Wellness Unit, led by Colonel Mindy Von Ansbach Young. The unit provides support to employees at ECSO and works in conjunction with local mental health providers.

“Utilizing crisis-based services in combination with law enforcement responses will expedite care and minimize the likelihood of law enforcement arrests, baker acts, and marchman acts,” Young said.

The co-responder unit is the latest addition to the ECSO’s mental health initiatives.

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