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San Antonio Police Department Mental Health Detail Awarded 2017 Spirit of Health Award

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The Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio recently awarded nearly $7 million in grants to area nonprofits, including its second largest grant in the foundation’s history. The BHFSA also honored the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Detail with the 2017 Spirit of Health award for the department’s work in getting thousands of residents the mental health they need.

Specially Trained to Handle Mental Health Calls


Photo: Facebook/SanAntonioPD

The mental health detail is made up of San Antonio Police Officers who are specially trained to recognize and handle mental health calls, said San Antonio police Sgt. Bart Vasquez. The department provides 40 hours of crisis management training. The team has grown in the past year from six members to ten.

“The 10 individuals, the 10 officers, are truly deserving of this award,” Vasquez said. “These 10 officers are some of the most caring officers I have met in my time with the police department, when it comes to individual mental illness.” More than 100,000 people have been diverted away from jail or emergency rooms thanks to the work of the San Antonio Police Department’s mental health detail and its Crisis Intervention Training program.  

Vasquez said the unit even takes its work home with them. “At night, they are taking calls when they’re off. They’re advising families with where to take their loved ones and where to get help and treatment. These 10 officers truly are the best of the department.”

Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio

San Antonio Police

Photo: Facebook/SanAntonioPD

“What we’re trying to do is recognize individuals and groups that really exemplify compassion, dedication and the spirit in which we as a foundation help those in greatest need,” said Eusebio Diaz, Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio Vice President.

Baptist Health Foundation President and CEO Cody Knowlton said the work of the foundation is driven by the needs of the nonprofit community. “We do it all to honor God,” Knowlton said. “It’s God’s mission and His money.”

The mission of the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio is to improve the health of the community by fostering and funding clinical, educational, spiritual and scientific initiatives while honoring God and their Baptist heritage. To learn more about the good work that Baptist Health Foundation is doing, visit their website or follow them on their Facebook page.