The Hospital Council has led a mental health collaborative in Fresno County since late 2011, a group consisting of a wide cross-section of community stakeholders including the Superior Court judge responsible for the behavioral health court, the President of Fresno State, the Fresno Chief of Police, and the Fresno County Sheriff, along with hospital executives and leaders of business, community- and faith-based organizations.
One of the group’s priorities was to create a single ‘front door’ into the community’s system of mental health care, homeless services, and substance abuse services. On Wednesday, that ‘front door’ opened in the form of MAP—the Multi-agency Access Program. At a press conference featuring Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearingen and RVP Lynne Ashbeck, the MAP Point (our first physical location) was opened. The MAP Point will provide case managers to ‘wrap around’ clients in need of housing, mental health services, substance abuse services…sometimes all at the same time. The group expects to establish multiple MAP Points across the community in the next year.
Hospitals can expect to benefit from the MAP Point with folks able to access resources and services at that location…especially sobering, mental health assessments, shelter and other basic needs…rather than coming into the ER.
Fresno’s Mayor said during the press conference,” Fresno will look back on this day as a ‘turning point’ in our community’s ability to care for our most vulnerable.”
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