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The Behavioral Health Response and Rescue Project (BHRRP)


The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified behavioral health needs across the state, creating new barriers for people with mental illness and substance use disorders and increasing the prevalence of these conditions. In response, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is implementing the Behavioral Health Response and Rescue Project (BHRRP) to increase access to behavioral health care for all Californians.

BHRRP is funded by supplements to the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) and the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Funding was made available to SAMHSA through passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Project Goals




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The Behavioral Health Response and Rescue Project will support the full continuum of behavioral health care needs:




DHCS is supporting a variety of prevention programs through BHRRP, including the Statewide Friday Night Live Youth Prevention Program, suicide prevention services, a Statewide Prevention Plan for California counties, and an evidence-based prevention registry.



Intervention and Treatment


BHRRP aims to expand the behavioral health workforce by continuing support for peer-run programs and the peer workforce. BHRRP will also fund training sessions for counties to develop treatment programs for first episode psychosis and provide telehealth equipment for patients in need.





DHCS has implemented the Crisis Care Mobile Units (CCMU) Program to support behavioral health mobile crisis and non-crisis services, and will provide behavioral health crisis intervention training and programs for first responders through the Behavioral Health Justice Intervention Services Project.





DHCS is using BHRRP funds to support and expand recovery services for mental health and substance use disorders. DHCS is working with community stakeholders to appropriately define recovery services programs and determine the best use of grant funds for these services across the state.


BHRRP Statewide Focus Areas

Behavioral Health Justice Intervention Services
The Behavioral Health Justice Intervention Services Project provides behavioral health crisis intervention training and programs for law enforcement and other first responders, and/or fund social workers, counselors, case managers, and peer support specialists to embed within local law enforcement during emergency responses.
Behavioral Health Workforce Expansion
This project aims to expand the behavioral health workforce statewide by continuing support for peer support specialists, analyzing the state of the current behavioral health workforce, and funding workforce development activities. Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP) will assist DHCS in administering these funds.
CalAIM Transformation Training for Leadership and Statewide Documentation Training
Through this project, California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) will implement the CalAIM Transformation Training for Leadership, which helps behavioral health leadership with implementation templates, trains leaders on key changes, and engages quality improvement managers in a change management process. CalMHSA will also implement Statewide Documentation Training Tools for providers.
Crisis Care Mobile Units Program
The Crisis Care Mobile Units (CCMU) Program supports and expands behavioral health mobile crisis and non-crisis services. Grantees will use funds to assess the needs of mobile crisis and non-crisis programs in their region, implement a new CCMU program, or expand an existing CCMU program. California counties, city behavioral health agencies, or joint partnerships of these entities are eligible for this funding opportunity. AHP is assisting DHCS in administering these funds, and you can learn more about the CCMU Program on the Building CalHHS website.​
First Episode Psychosis Coordinated Specialty Care Learning Collaboratives
DHCS and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) are working together to host learning collaborative training sessions for counties to develop, implement, and operate an evidence-based program for First Episode Psychosis. The UC Davis Early Psychosis Programs are nationally recognized as a leading provider of early psychosis care.
Friday Night Live Youth Prevention
DHCS is using BHRRP funds to augment the existing California Friday Night Live Partnership contract with the Tulare County Office of Education to increase county participation in Friday Night Live through training, technical assistance, and start-up stipends, build Friday Night Live sustainability, create annual statewide infographics, increase transparency and revise Member in Good Standing Process, and perform an annual survey of the Friday Night Live coordinators to determine training and technical assistance needs.
Mental Health Continuum Analysis
BHRRP is funding the University of California, San Francisco to research gaps within the mental health continuum of care to inform state policy.
Project ATLAS
This project builds California's provider network into the ATLAS system, which helps individuals locate treatment providers that adhere to evidence-based protocols.
Recovery Services
This project focuses on increasing the number and quality of culturally responsive behavioral health recovery services and programs statewide with a focus on traditionally underserved populations. The project is administered on behalf of DHCS by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.
Funding will be released in two phases. Phase 1 of the Health Equity in Access to Behavioral Health Recovery Services (HEAR Us) spearheads a community-driven process to establish Behavioral Health Recovery Services standards of care with input from organizations and key stakeholders over a 10-month developmental phase from October 1, 2022 through July 31, 2023.
At the completion of Phase 1, well-documented and defined standards of care will help inform policies, practices, and investments through Phase 2 of the program. A cohort of organizations will be funded in Phase 2 to contribute to the implementation of those standards statewide.
Primary Prevention Evidence-based Registry
DHCS is using BHRRP funds to implement an evidence-based prevention registry.
Statewide Prevention Plan
DHCS is working with an Administrative Entity to complete a Statewide Prevention Plan that will support counties in their strategic planning efforts.
Telehealth Expansion
DHCS is supporting organizations in developing, enhancing and/or expanding their facility's telehealth infrastructure to address the needs of individuals with substance use disorder and/or mental health disorders. The Center at Sierra Health Foundation is assisting DHCS with the administration of the funds.

DHCS is funding organizations that provide direct treatment and recovery support services and who only use funds for provider telehealth development, enhancement and/or expansion.
Naloxone Distribution Project
DHCS is using BHRRP funds to augment the State Opioid Response (SOR) Naloxone Distribution Project and continue funding when SOR II expires in September 2022. See the Naloxone Distribution Project's website to learn more about this work.

State Projects Administered by Counties

BHRRP also allocates funding to behavioral health state projects that counties will administer. Counties may use this funding for: 

  • General Crisis Services 
  • Prevention Activities
  • Friday Night Live Program
  • Perinatal-specific Treatment and Recovery Services
  • Youth and Adolescent Treatment 
  • Recovery Housing Support
  • First Episode Psychosis Programs
  • Crisis Stabilization Services
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Discretionary Projects​