Whatcom County Response Systems division of Health and Community Services has a number of programs to support community members facing substance use disorders, mental health challenges, and other emergency situations, including:
- Anne Deacon Center for Hope: The Anne Deacon Center for Hope is an overnight, short-term facility for people having a mental health crisis or needing help with withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs.
- ART: The Alternative Response Team is a behavioral health specialist and a public health nurse that respond to specific non-violent behavioral health 911 calls in Bellingham.
- Co-Responder Program: The Sheriff Co-Responder Team works in close coordination with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and provides a behavioral health specialist to ride along with law enforcement calls when appropriate. The co-responder can also follow up individually with clients to make sure someone in need is connected to services and long-term support.
- GRACE: Ground-Level Response and Coordinated Engagement connects people with complex behavioral health and medical needs who frequently interact with emergency systems to intensive case management.
- LEAD: Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion offers people who have behavioral health needs a path out of the criminal justice system and into intensive case management.
- Mental Health Court: Mental Health Court provides wraparound support to promote engagement in mental health care, recovery, and wellness for individuals with pending charges in the court. A Public Defender may refer them to Mental Health Court as an alternative to incarceration, with a goal of preventing future involvement in the criminal legal system.
- Way Station: In partnership with Unity Care Northwest, PeaceHealth, and Opportunity Council, the Way Station (slated to open in 2024) will serve homeless individuals in need of hygiene, medical and behavioral health services, and/or recuperative respite.