The state has approved $3 million for mental health crisis intervention services in Sonoma County.

The grant will be used to hire mental health workers who provide crisis triage services at shelters, jails and clinics. The goal is to link people in crisis with appropriate services to keep them out of jails, hospital emergency rooms and inpatient psychiatric beds.

The funds, which come from the Mental Health Services Act, also known as Prop. 63, are part of $32 million recently approved by the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which oversees Prop. 63 funds.

"These funds allow us to reach out and find people before their situations become too desperate," Richard Van Horn, chairman of the commission, said in a statement. "That may involve doing outreach on the streets, in emergency rooms or in tandem with law enforcement so that we can provide diversion into treatment."

The $32 million in crisis intervention funds is to be distributed among 22 counties in the state over the next three years. Other local counties that received funds include Alameda, Marin, Napa, Sacramento and San Francisco. Napa received $1.3 million.

Prop. 63, which was passed in 2004, places a one percent tax on incomes above a million dollars. The money funds hundreds of public mental health programs throughout state.