Select a language:

Behavioral Health Bureau

OCSD Behavioral Health Unit

The Behavioral Health Bureau is committed to assisting the homeless population and those with mental health needs through a robust program that includes proactive engagement, case management, and resource distribution. The goal of the Behavioral Health Bureau is to create a professional, collaborative, and appropriate response to mental health calls for service with an aim to better connect people with services and reduce recidivism. 

In addition to calls for service, deputies are able to identify persons in need of resources while providing security for Orange County Public Works in more than 380 miles of flood control channels throughout the county, including the Santa Ana River. 

The Behavioral Health Bureau is supervised by a Captain and includes 3 Sergeants, 4 Deputies, and approximately 40 Behavioral Health Liaison Deputies assigned to the Sheriff’s Department’s 13 contract cities and in unincorporated areas of Orange County.

The Bureau evolved from the Department’s previous Homeless Outreach Team, which launched in November 2016 with two regional teams assigned to proactively work with homeless individuals and strike a balance between providing services and enforcing the law.

While assisting the homeless will remain a core function of the Bureau, the team has also has implemented a case management component in which they conduct weekly reviews of all calls in the Sheriff’s Department service area involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. They review the call details and allocate follow-up assignments to determine what resources may be available.

Critical to the success of the Behavioral Health Bureau is the Sheriff’s Department’s collaboration with the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA), which provides representatives to work alongside deputies in the field and during the case review process. The Bureau is piloting a co-responder model that includes a mental health clinician. With the HCA's partnership, deputies will be able to rely on someone with extensive knowledge, training, and experience regarding mental health issues.

The Behavioral Health Bureau is working on building a multi-disciplinary team with additional service providers to offer holistic services. The Bureau will continue to identify partners that will increase the opportunity to help those in need. The Bureau also is increasing monthly training for team members, which will include a focus on how to handle the many critical incidents they may come across in their role.

Resource Links