Behavioral Health Response Program

Overview

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Health Response Program is a co-responder program that pairs licensed mental health clinicians or "co-responders" with deputies on calls for service that involve persons with mental illness, behavioral health crisis and emotionally charged situations. The teams utilize the combined expertise of the deputy and co-responder to de-escalate situations and help get individuals the appropriate mental health services they need. 

When a call is made to dispatch requesting law enforcement and dispatch identifies behavioral health issues, a co-responder is notified to respond to the location with along with a deputy. When it is safe to do so, the clinician will work with the deputy to assess the situation and determine appropriate options for crisis resolution. Some of those options include, de-escalation, resource referrals, transport to a Community Crisis Services Walk-in Center, Crisis Stabilization Unit, detox facility, designated mental health facility, or emergency department (ED). 

Under general supervision of the ACSO Program Manager, there are five full-time licensed clinicians who work alongside sheriff deputies.

Crisis Intervention Program

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a community effort, bringing law enforcement officers and the stakeholders together for the common goals of safety, understanding and service to the mentally ill and their families. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five families are directly affected by severe mental illness, either having a family member or a friend who is mentally ill.

The CIT model has been instrumental in offering specially trained deputies to respond to immediate crisis calls, ongoing training of CIT deputies and establishments of partnerships of law enforcement, NAMI, mental health providers and mental health consumers.

When available, CIT deputies along with co-responders called upon to respond to crisis calls that present them with complex issues relating to mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and developmental disabilities. When a co-responder is unavailable to respond and assist with these types of calls, deputies will make a CIT referral to the Behavioral Health Response Program for follow up. CIT deputies also perform their regular assignment as patrol deputies.

Goals

  • To facilitate the return of deputies to their patrol duties 
  • To provide a more appropriate response to mental health crisis
  • To reduce involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations
  • To reduce repeated mental health encounters with law enforcement

Contact Information: Email Behavioral Health Response Program Manager, Julie Jacobs

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