For the last three years, Flagler County has worked in partnership with Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Services to increase public safety and decrease money spent on criminal justice by improving the effectiveness and accessibility of treatment options for adults suffering from mental health problems or substance abuse.
The collaborative efforts were funded in part by Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Services and in part by a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grant, which expires this year. The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners decided March 4 to reapply for the grant.
If awarded, the county would receive $250,000 over two years to continue resources meant to prevent adults suffering from mental health problems from entering the justice system, with Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Services matching that amount either in money or in services.
“There are few grants that I have seen come through that have had a greater impact on our jail population or on mental health in our community than this,” Commissioner Barbara Revels said. “It’s really, really worked well."