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Mental Health

Law Enforcement

Our Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a unit of specially trained deputies committed to safely and effectively addressing the needs of persons with mental illnesses, link them to appropriate services, and divert them from the criminal justice system if appropriate.

Our deputies must determine if the criminal activity is a direct result of the mental illness. The mental health consumer who is found walking in the street or trespassing on private property because he/she is disoriented, or hallucinating may not be best served by spending time in jail. Mental health consumers who have decompensated to this extent should be diverted from the criminal justice system on a case by case basis.

We work in partnership with the Austin Police Department CIT and the Integral Care Mobile Crisis Outreach Team to connect the mental health consumer to the help they need. We respond to any location within Travis County, including the city of Austin, 24/7.

What to Expect

If you are in an unincorporated area of Travis County, when you call 911 for a person in mental health crisis, you can expect our deputies, Emergency Medical Services, and the Fire Department to respond.

When First Responders Arrive

  • The individual is evaluated first for medical conditions, then mental health conditions. Medical conditions take priority over mental health conditions.
  • The responding deputy will either the Integral Care Mobile Crisis Outreach Team or one of our CIT deputies. If the CIT Deputy responds to the scene, they will be driving an unmarked vehicle, and be dressed in plain clothes, as prescribed by the Health and Safety Code.
  • CIT deputies are trained to de-escalate situations and evaluate the mental health consumer to see if the consumer meets criteria for a Peace Officer's Emergency Detention (POED). If the individual meets criteria for a POED, the CIT deputy will place them in the most appropriate psychiatric facility available, in the least restrictive means necessary. If the consumer does not meet criteria for a POED, the CIT Deputy will provide the consumer and family/caretakers with available, local mental health resources.
  • We strive to treat mental health consumers, and the general public, with dignity and respect. All interactions with our CIT are confidential in nature to include reports and resolutions.

For more information on our Crisis Intervention Team, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 512-854-3430

Inmate Programs & Services

Our Mental Health staff screen inmates upon booking and continually assess for symptoms of severe and persistent mental illness throughout their stay in jail. Inmates who meet criteria are scheduled to see a psychiatrist/psychiatric nurse practitioner to receive treatment.

  • We monitor symptoms, provide crisis counseling, education and support based upon an inmate’s mental health needs. Additionally, we work with inmates on grief, anxiety and adjustment issues related to being incarcerated and make hospital and death notifications.
  • Inmates have access to mental health staff on an emergency basis by speaking with their post officer or they can be seen on a non-emergency basis by sending an inmate request.
  • Pregnant females can attend an education and support group each week, led by one of our counselors, where they learn about the development of the child as well as what to expect during the pregnancy. Resources are provided to all participants.
  • Our mental health coordinator collaborates with counselors, psychiatric providers, courts and community agencies on an on-going basis regarding inmates with serious mental illness or medical needs to ensure that their needs are taken into consideration in the legal process.
  • Upon release, inmates are referred to Austin/Travis County Integral Care for continuing their treatment.

If you would like to speak with our Mental Health staff regarding treatment of an inmate in our custody, please call 512-854-5356.

In partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), we offer the 4-hour seminar NAMI Family & Friends that informs and supports people who have loved ones who have been identified with mental health or substance use disorders. Participants will learn about diagnoses, treatment, recovery, communication strategies, crisis preparation and NAMI resources. Seminar leaders have personal experience with mental health conditions in their families.

For more information or to register for the training, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 512-854-6615


If this is an Emergency, please call 9-1-1.

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