Press Release: For immediate release
Lea Berhane, Chief Development, Marketing & Technology Officer
(650) 591-9623 x142
StarVista in Partnership with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Launches New Specialized Mobile Crisis Response Service for Youth
March 18, 2022
San Carlos, CA – StarVista, a nonprofit that delivers high-impact services through counseling, skill development, and crisis prevention to children, youth, adults, and families in San Mateo County, is launching its Youth Stabilization, Opportunity, and Support (S.O.S.) Team, a specialized mobile crisis response service for youth ages 0-25 years old. The program is funded by the local Mental Health Services Act and General State Funds.
The Youth Stabilization, Opportunity, and Support (S.O.S.) Team is a program of StarVista’s Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center in partnership with the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services division, which manages the StarVista contract and has worked with the nonprofit organization to design and implement the program. The S.O.S. team is comprised of mental health clinicians, a youth peer partner, and family partners to comprehensively address any assessment, psychoeducation, therapeutic, or case management needs. The program will launch on Sunday, March 20, 2022.
The Youth S.O.S. team is designed to respond to children and youth ages 0-25 that are experiencing an escalation of mental and behavioral health symptoms (such as suicidal ideation/intent, self-injurious behaviors, undiagnosed mental health disorders, etc). The team will prioritize current or former foster youth as well as community sites (like schools) that have limited mental health resources. To access this service, a community member will call StarVista’s Crisis Hotline (650) 579-0350 or the California Family Urgent Response System line (833) 939-3877.
“We are excited to expand our Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center’s services in order to meet the needs of our shared community and help bridge the equity gap that exists for youth in crisis. The StarVista team is passionate about delivering quality mental health services, psychoeducational, and support services to individuals experiencing a crisis to achieve positive health outcomes. We are delighted to launch this program in partnership with San Mateo County BHRS,” said StarVista Chief Executive Officer, Sara Larios Mitchell, Ph.D., MACP.
Once a call is received, a StarVista crisis line worker will begin an assessment over the phone to determine the appropriate response. If a call necessitates an in-person response, Youth S.O.S. will be sent out. For all in-person needs, both a mental health clinician and a family partner will respond in order to address and de-escalate the inciting crisis as well support the family. The expected response time will range between 1 to 2 hours (depending on location and availability of the team).
“This is a wonderful addition to our menu of crisis response services available to our community. This new service will not only increase our capacity to provide on the spot support for youth and transitional aged youth who are in crisis, but also facilitates access to treatment and support, reducing the barriers and disparities in the communities we serve,” said Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director, Scott Gilman, MSA, CBHE.
Services for the State mandated Family Urgent Response System (FURS), which provides 24-hour crisis response for current and former foster youth and their caregivers, has also been integrated into the Youth S.O.S. team in partnership with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, the Human Service Agency, and Juvenile Probation.
“This needed community resource links foster youth and caregivers with immediate trauma-informed supports. Access to timely crisis response means greater preservation of placements. This partnership aligns with our mission by supporting the stabilization and well-being of the family unit during challenging and difficult times.” Ken Cole, Human Services Agency Director.
The StarVista Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center provides suicide intervention services and programs for San Mateo County residents, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, mobile youth crisis response team, online and text teen crisis support, and educational presentations to the community and schools. It is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology and belongs to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline national network of crisis centers.