County Mental Health Triage Services


Program Title:  Children's Triage Grant

Program Description

The Children's Triage Program consists of two teams – one in Santa Maria and one in Santa Barbara. Each team has one full-time licensed mental health clinician and one half-time Parent Partner (Recovery Assistant). Either team can be quickly deployed to Lompoc Valley Hospital if there is a youth in crisis in their Emergency Department. The teams operate Tuesday thru Saturday from 8am to 5pm. 

The goal of the program is to prevent inpatient psychiatric hospitalization of youth by providing intensive mental health services to youth placed on involuntary holds and awaiting LPS placement in the hospital emergency departments. The licensed practitioner and Parent Partner will work closely with the hospital staff, the client and the client's caregivers to de-escalate the crisis, develop sound safety plans and rescind the hold. The Children's Triage Program team members will follow-up to ensure effective community re-integration for children and youth upon discharge including assistance navigating the mental health system and providing linkages to services and supports.  

For those youth who cannot be effectively stabilized and safety planned back to the community without LPS placement, the Children's Triage Program staff will work closely with the LPS hospitals upon discharge to provide short-term follow-up assistance when the youth returns home. In addition, as time permits, the Children's Triage Program staff will assist youth and their families who are experiencing sub-acute crisis (when children have been identified as at risk for a mental health crisis, but before they meet the level of acuity necessary for intervention by crisis staff) before hospitalization is required. 

Referrals for the sub-acute cases may come from law enforcement, schools, public health, probation, etc. In particular, proactive outreach to difficult-to-engage populations, like children experiencing homelessness and Mixteco-speaking children, will also be conducted. The aim of these proactive services will be to provide brief, intensive interventions to reduce the risk of mental health crises and hospitalizations and to link children and youth to ongoing behavioral health services.

North County Program Brochure   English I Spanish

South County Program Brochure   English I Spanish

Children's Crisis Triage Program Access  Services offered are community based and primarily provided in the field or in hospital emergency rooms.  

North County 

Arlene Altobelli, PsyD


Michael Allen 


Marian Regional Medical Center

1400 E. Church Street

Santa Maria, CA 993454


West County

Arlene Altobelli, PsyD


Michael Allen 



Lompoc Valley regional Medical Center

1515 E. Ocean Ave.

Lompoc CA 93436



South County

Staff not yet hired


Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

400 W. Pueblo St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93105