Humboldt Bridges to Success

Humboldt Bridges to Success (HBTS) ~ The program was established in 2018, using the Triage Grant from the Mental Health and Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHOAC). This program builds upon the historical MHSA funding since 2004 and solidifies the partnership between the county education and public health departments. Out of the $5.3M the state invested in this program, Humboldt county received close to $1M to augment the existing funding in the county to support mental health and build out the HBTS program.

Human Capital

MHSSA funds were used to hire additional direct service personnel, fund HBTS program evaluation, and help sustain the project for approximately two additional years. The HBTS program staffed by 17 positions, all of which are direct care staff, was expanded using grant funds to increase program staffing by six and increase the supervising mental health clinician and a peer position to full-time.

The primary goal of HBTS is to provide school-based mental health intervention and support to students, in crisis or at risk of crisis. The program increases access to mental health services by providing intervention and services in locations that are easily accessible to students and their families. These staff work alongside other school personnel to:

  • Identify students in need of support

  • Determine and provide an appropriate, limited duration intervention or interventions

  • Determine if the intervention was successful

  • If successful, slowly discontinue the intervention and continue to monitor the student, or

  • If necessary, assist the student in accessing more intensive, longer term services and support

Humboldt continues to support staffing through MHSA and now MHSSA funding. Staff adapted to staffing and operational changes due to COVID-19, including transitioning to a virtual meeting format, completing case reviews, and a reduction in core team staff.

Shared Positions

The county is divided up into five regions to support the coordination of the county office of education and county health and human services through the Humboldt Bridges To Success (HBTS) program. The counties are Klamath Trinity, Eel River, North Humboldt, Southern Humboldt, and Eureka Central.

Humboldt County Health and Human Services, Children’s Mental Health (HHS-CMH), in partnership with the Humboldt County Office of Education (COE), jointly manages, supervises, and staffs the triage project, HBTS, by employing one clinician for each of the five county regions. The program also employs a part-time supervising clinician.

Humboldt COE in partnership with the Humboldt HHS-CMH jointly manages and supervises the triage project, HBTS, by employing seven Educationally Related Mental Health Services (ERMHS) clinicians, who serve students on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The county has designated five “Hiring” School Districts with one school district set up as a “hiring” district per region. The designated school district in each region contracts with HHS-CMH, acts as a “hub” for the region, and hires a navigator position that serves the region. Eureka Central also hired a Family and Child Support Coach who serves the whole project and provides peer support services.

Funding dedicated to Training

HBTS staff work with staff at local public schools to provide short-term, school-based mental health intervention and support to students who are in crisis or at risk of crisis. These services are available to students through 12th grade.

Services include:

  • School-based crisis response. Staff work with students, their families and schools to de-escalate and resolve crisis

  • Crisis stabilization. Crisis assessment, short-term counseling and case management services

  • After care. Referrals for long-term assistance and support may be provided

  • Education and training. Designed to increase awareness and ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health issues and how to respond.

There is also ongoing cross training happening between schools and HHS-CMH to build education, aligning language and practices between both sides of the system.

Number of districts trained/supported

All 32 school districts have access to the Humboldt Bridges to Success services.

Number of Students Served: The graph below displays the number of students served through the Humboldt Bridges to Success program. Beginning in the latter half of 2019 through 2021, services were provided for a total headcount of over 2,000. While the number of students served was on a steady increase, the the highest number of 440 students served in early 2020 occurred at the beginning of COVID school closures. This was in contrast to the lowest number of students served at 95 during the second quarter of school closures. The lowest percentage of services provided by age occurred for the younger age range of 3-5, while the percentage of services for the older age groups, 6-11, 12-14, and 15-17 were fairly evenly distributed.

Number of Student Referrals

The total number of student referrals from 2019 through 2021 is 17,021. Similar to the total headcount, the greatest number of referrals occurred at the beginning of COVID School Closures, with a 70% increase from the prior quarter.

Note: Student Referral counts are combined from the following categories: assessment, crisis response, individual therapy, group therapy, safety plan, referral or linkage to services/care coordination/case management,

Client Referral Counts

The graph below displays the referral counts for mental health and non-mental health referrals. The display shows the significant spike in referrals at the beginning of school closures and an even greater spike as students prepared for reopening.

Mental Health Service Referrals are made to school behavioral services, crisis services, outpatient or inpatient hospitalization services, parent/family therapy and services, parenting supports and training, or other mental health referrals.

Non-Mental Health Service Referrals are made to CPS/Department of Social Services/Child Welfare, law enforcement or probation, a primary care physician, school or special education, spiritual support centers, family resources like food bank or vocational information, regional centers, or other non-mental health referrals.

Prevention & Early Intervention: School Climate Curriculum Plan/MTSS

Humboldt County Annual Update 21-22.pdf