Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families received a grant for $80,000 from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara to fund an additional mobile crisis counselor for the Safe Alternatives for Treating Youth Program to respond to children and youth experiencing mental health emergencies. 

The program from Camarillo-based Casa Pacifica involves a mobile crisis response team serving children and youth, up to 20 years of age, who are in crisis. The program provides families of youth experiencing mental health and behavioral emergencies – often suicidal or violent – with quick and accessible specialized crisis intervention, with in-home support and linkage to county mental health services.

The goal of the mobile program is to prevent psychiatric hospitalization and decrease the use of emergency rooms and law enforcement for mental health crises in order to prevent detention in juvenile facilities due to a mental health crisis. The program receives about 1,900 crisis calls annually with approximately 1,000 of the children and youth requiring services beyond the initial call. Since opening in 2005, the program has served more than 12,800 children and families.

“We are honored and grateful to the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara for choosing us to be among their grant recipients providing critical services,” Christina Lombard, manager of the program at Casa Pacifica, said in a statement. “An additional crisis care specialist ultimately increases the number of kids we will be able to serve; we are passionate about making an impact in our community and are thrilled to partner with an organization who clearly feels the same.”

Casa Pacifica is the largest nonprofit provider of children’s mental health services in both Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Its services include a residential treatment facility for foster or at-risk children, as well as administering 10 programs designed to strengthen families and keep children in their homes.