Megan McGuriman
     Grigori A. Lopez-Garcia

New Castle County Partners with ChristianaCare for Behavioral Health Unit

Partnership Expands Police Division’s Mental Health Services



New Castle County has selected ChristianaCare to partner in its newly expanded Behavioral Health Unit that provides mental health and substance use disorder outreach to the community. Supported by more than $2 million in federal and state grant funding that was announced by New Castle County Police in October, 2019, the collaboration will enable ChristianaCare’s Community Health team to hire six caregivers to work alongside police officers in the Behavioral Health Unit: a mental health professional, two case managers, a licensed clinician, a registered nurse and a child victim advocate. ChristianaCare’s staff members will begin working with the Behavioral Health Unit in the fall.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests across the nation have highlighted the urgent need to think differently about how we address the behavioral health needs of the communities we serve, and this partnership with New Castle County Police is an example of how we are innovating to meet those needs,” said Erin Booker, vice president of community health and engagement at ChristianaCare. “Together, we will be able to provide case management, mental health support and substance-use disorder connection to care. We’ll be at 911 calls for mental health crisis. This opportunity is one we’ve never had before in our state, and I’m so grateful for the leadership of New Castle County to really look beyond normal policing and say, “How can we be more for our community?”

In October 2019, the New Castle County Division of Police merged the Hero Help Addiction Unit and the Mental Health Unit into the Behavioral Health Unit. In the Mental Health Unit, officers and mental health professionals respond together to in-progress calls for individuals in mental health crisis or help connect individuals to care in order to prevent repeat calls for service. Members of the Hero Help Addiction Unit provide outreach and Narcan for non-fatal overdose victims, treatment in-lieu of arrest for low level crimes as well as provide on-going case management to assist with bridging gaps in treatment. The unit is committed to a trauma informed, supportive and holistic approach, to ensure individuals and family members are connected to the appropriate level of care.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged across the nation and here in New Castle County there has been a significant increase in crisis calls and New Castle County suicides are up as compared to last year,” said Colonel Vaughn Bond Jr. “The New Castle County Division of Police and ChristianaCare truly believe the expansion of the Behavioral Health Unit will save lives and we look forward to our partnership.”

About ChristianaCare
Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,299 beds), a free-standing emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute and was rated by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With the unique CareVio data-powered care coordination service and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care. Learn how ChristianaCare delivers greater quality and value at