The award was given at the annual conference of the NC Association of County Commissioners meeting in Wilmington NC.
Sponsored by the Local Government Federal Credit Union, the award honors the County’s work in deploying the HealthIM program and protocols into law enforcement patrol cars. The program follows community-wide training in Crisis Interventions intended to deescalate highly emotional encounters with persons in a mental health crisis by first responders.
Onslow County convened a multidisciplinary workgroup who, among other actions, sought to have first responders educated on Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health First Aid for Veterans. A paper based mental health screener program was introduced and then the group worked for an online version that helps assess a mental health crisis situation, and then share information that is beneficial to lessen the crisis. Onslow Sheriff’s Deputies and Jacksonville Police Officers are among those who have access to the HealthIM program in their vehicles. The two agencies were the first in the USA to deploy the program.
The Onslow Board of Commissioners attending the annual conference accepted the award at a ceremony where some of those who worked on the program were also in attendance.
Picture taken August 13, 2021 in Wilmington.
Accepting 2021 Excellence in Innovation Award were (left to right): Commissioner Mark Price, Chief Onslow County Deputy Col Chris Thomas, Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Tim Foster, Commission Royce Bennett, Assistant County Manager Sheri Slater, Onslow Information Technology Services Director Glenn Hasteadt, and Commissioner Walter Scott.