Grayson County to Receive $300,000 to Fund Community Mental Health Coordinator

The Community Diversion Coordinator Pilot Program, a new initiative offered by the Mental Health Judicial Commission, is coming to Grayson County.

Through the program, Grayson County will receive nearly $300,000 to help fund the hiring of a new Community Diversion Coordinator, who will help divert people with mental health issues from the justice system and connect them with the mental health providers they need.

Representatives from the Texoma and County Behavioral Health Leadership Team announced this week that the area has been selected to participate in the program.

“I am here to announce, and proud to announce, that we have been awarded a four-year grant from the Judicial Mental Health Commission to fund a Community Diversion Coordinator position for Grayson County,” Judge said. of Bill Magers County Monday night at the Sherman City Council meeting.

County commissioners are expected to discuss approving the program and awarding the funding at their meeting on Tuesday.

“The bottom line is that the commissioner’s tribunal is going to fund this for four years to see what we do as a community,” Magers said.

Grayson County Courts

The program will fully fund the hiring of the new position for two years. Thereafter, the program will continue to finance the position at 80% and then at 60% for the following two years.

The new position will be responsible for educating area responders on diversion options, including transferring the case from criminal court to probate court, local mental health crisis services and to d other community partners.

Like the region’s ongoing efforts to foster mental health services, Magers said the successful bid involved the work of a myriad of organizations ranging from the behavioral health team to local law enforcement, to the justice system and mental health providers in the area.

“It’s the culmination of many different efforts, many private conversations, many group conversations, many relationships built around our ability to work together as a community and bring mental health to the forefront and s ‘involved,’ said Gail Utter, representing TBHLT. .

As an example of the need for diversion, Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt said there was a recent case of a woman who had just been released from jail and who was almost immediately found incarcerated due to mental health issues.

“She left jail, walked two blocks down the street, sat down at a local business and said, ‘I’m not leaving until you call Sherman PD,'” Watt said. . “Sherman PD tried unsuccessfully to get her to leave, but they had to arrest her for criminal trespassing and bring her back immediately. She was gone for an hour or two before coming back.”