Mobile Crisis Response Teams (MCRT)

MCRT Overview 

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20, law enforcement received more than 54,000 calls involving a psychiatric crisis. While all calls required a timely response, many did not necessitate law enforcement intervention. In many instances, deployment of behavioral health professionals would have been a more effective solution in addressing non-violent behavioral health situations.

On January 11, 2021, the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services (BHS) department launched a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) pilot program in the North Coastal Region designed to help people who are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis by dispatching behavioral health experts to emergency calls instead of law enforcement, when appropriate.

Teams are currently deployed through calls made to the County’s Access and Crisis Line (888-724-7240).

The MCRT program is available in the service areas noted below, with plans to expand MCRT countywide.

MCRT Service Model 

MCRTs are comprised of licensed mental health clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists who can respond to behavioral health crisis calls that do not involve known threats of violence or medical emergencies. These clinical teams provide assessments, de-escalation, and connect the individual to appropriate services. Transportation to local services is also available, if needed.  

To minimize stigma associated with behavioral health conditions, teams include peer support specialists who utilize their lived experience to engage with people in crisis and help them feel more comfortable. Services provide a non-law enforcement response in a manner that is responsive to and respectful of community and individual needs. If a situation evolves and requires the presence of law enforcement, team members can call for assistance and PERT (a clinician/law enforcement team), or other uniformed personnel, will be dispatched.

MCRT Service Areas 

North Coastal

On January 11, 2021, the North Coastal MCRT pilot program provided through Exodus Recovery, Inc. became operational. The North Coastal MCRT responds to calls in the communities of Del Mar, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Oceanside, and Camp Pendleton.

  • This program currently serves ages 18 and older only, with plans to serve all ages by November 2021.
  • Teams in the North Coastal communities are currently deployed through calls made to the County's Access and Crisis Line (888-724-7240).

South Region

On August 18, 2021, the South Region MCRT program provided through Telecare Corporation became operational. The South Region MCRT responds to calls in National City, Chula Vista, Bonita, Imperial Beach, Coronado, parts of San Diego, and the communities of Otay Mesa, Nestor Mesa, and San Ysidro.

  • This program serves all ages.
  • Teams in the South Region are currently deployed through calls made to the County's Access and Crisis Line (888-724-7240).

Countywide MCRT Roll-Out

MCRTs will be implemented in the remaining areas of San Diego County, in a staggered approach, over the next several months, with services provided through Telecare Corporation.

Frequently Asked Questions 

The MCRT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is regularly updated with commonly asked questions regarding the MCRT program. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please email MCRT@sdcounty.ca.gov and your question will be included in future updates.  

Contact Us 

If you have questions regarding the MCRT program, please email: MCRT@sdcounty.ca.gov. Responses to questions will be posted on a regular basis to the MCRT FAQ page.

Page last updated: 8/26/21