Although Community Partners Inc. has been in existence only a few years, our history and community service go back more than 20 years.
We were founded in Tucson as Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA), with the intent to bring strength and stability to the region’s public behavioral health care system. Beginning in 1995, CPSA served as the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) for Pima County/Tucson, creating and managing a comprehensive, recovery-based system of care with Medicaid and state funding and other federal, state and local resources, to serve individuals of all ages.
In that role, we managed the area’s treatment, rehabilitation, support, and suicide and substance use prevention services; established groundbreaking behavioral health initiatives; collaborated with the community to leverage resources and expertise; and supported other organizations with similar goals.
CPSA leadership recognized the need to diversify and re-organize the company, resulting in the 2013 creation of Community Partners Inc. and its subsidiaries, and allowing us to move forward with our established outpatient clinic, new business lines and additional consulting and support services.
Some of our achievements as CPSA:
- First RBHA in Arizona to train and employ members/peers and their families as part of the care system’s workforce.
- Collaborated with criminal justice organizations and stakeholders beginning in 1999, ultimately creating a team dedicated to supporting and advocating for our clients, and providing information and coordination to law enforcement, juvenile and adult court systems, and other systems.
- Created an extensive supportive housing initiative using grant and other funds from federal, state and local sources and operating with a “Housing First” philosophy.
- Helped establish Arizona’s first Mental Health Court, in 2000, for the City of Tucson, which reduced jail stays and lowered rates of recidivism. Eventually CPSA established Mental Health Courts in all Pima County municipalities.
- Built other collaborations with state agencies, tribes, schools and other organizations, and created special programs for populations such as individuals served by both the behavioral health care system and the Division of Developmental Disabilities, those designated seriously mentally ill, military veterans and others.
- Became the first RBHA – and one of the first organizations in the U.S. – to offer community training in Mental Health First Aid. Since 2009, we have trained more than 4,000 people how to recognize and assist someone experiencing a crisis due to mental illness and/or substance use.
- Was designated the Emergency Operations Center charged with coordinating the response to the community’s mental health needs resulting from the January 8, 2011, mass shooting in Tucson, as well as supporting our members and their families in the aftermath.
- Created and opened the Crisis Response Center in 2011, the hub of our coordinated, comprehensive care system that aids individuals and families experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis. Funded through a 2006 county bond election, the CRC, its programming and its complementary services have been embraced as a national model for crisis-care systems, reducing demand and providing an alternative to jail or hospital emergency departments.
- Contracted as the Pima County RBHA through five competitive funding cycles. In comparison, the Maricopa County RBHA changed four times over the same period.