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Enhanced Sequential Intercept Model for San Diego County

Last updated on May 10, 2021

This is a proposal to adopt a Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) tailored for the San Diego County Behavioral Health System (BHS).

The traditional SIM illustrates five periods where interventions can be made when one is experiencing a mental or psychiatric crisis as they navigate through our criminal justice systems.

Typically someone in crisis or, their loved ones, employer, or other community member, engages with the system to get the help they need. These include existing crisis phone systems, courts, detention or jails, long-term incarceration, and probationary monitoring as they reenter the community.

The SIM model also illustrates interventions or periods in that pathway where non-traditional programs and practices are engaged that divert offenders from the criminal court system into the programs and services that help treat underlying mental health (MH) challenges and substance use disorders (SUD). These interventions typically help offenders avoid incarceration and ultimately connect them into resources that help them become more productive members of society.

This proposed model refines definitions of existing intercepts to delineate pathways not centered on crisis and law enforcement interventions. The model illustrates opportunities to reach and engage those that may necessitate crisis intervention earlier, as well as how to help individuals effectively reintegrate into their community.

The SIM has evolved into what is now a SAMSHA-based project based at the GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation.

This is a work in progress. There are three elements:

  1. The Summary SIM map
  2. A detailed SIM illustrating connections and pathways more precisely
  3. A directory of available programs and services, several outside existing county behavioral health and law enforcement systems.

The following are drafts proposed to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) Criminal Justice Workgroup as they work to understand and make recommendations to improve BHS effectiveness serving our consumers.

1. Summary SIM (Draft)

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2. Detailed SIM and Pathways (Draft):

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3. Detailed SIM and Directory (Upcoming)

This document is being heavily revised and will be posted asap. It breaks out each intercept illustrated and details various programs and services one can use at that point in time.

Any insight you can give in the comments below, directly to this author, or through a guest post is welcomed!

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