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Mesa County Sheriff’s Office partnering with Mind Springs Health in crisis response

The organizations are working to connect those in need with necessary mental health resources
A deputy working on mental health crisis response in Clifton, Colo.
A deputy working on mental health crisis response in Clifton, Colo.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:14 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is partnering with Mind Springs Health to more effectively respond to crisis calls. The organizations started working together early last year, and now crisis clinicians respond alongside deputies on a daily basis.

According to MCSO Capt. Todd Sorenson, the clinicians are key in responding to calls that may not involve a criminal element but still pose a safety threat, such as responses to suicidal individuals. Deputies work to ensure that the clinician enters a safe situation, then the mental health professional takes the lead in developing a plan and connecting the individual in need with community resources.

Liz Wingerter, Mind Springs Crisis Program Coordinator, explained that anyone can find himself or herself in a mental health crisis. Oftentimes, in her experience, a lack of family support or other external factors such as food and housing insecurity can manifest in a moment of crisis.

Capt. Sorenson described challenges facing the program, specifically the need for a space for monitoring individuals who just went through a crisis situation. Oftentimes, these individuals end up in the emergency room, which is often not the best place.

“The E.R. is probably the single most expensive place to put them,” Sorenson said. While in the E.R., these patients can sometimes place extra stress on resources and wait times as well. Even though they don’t need corporeal medical attention, there is no where else available to send them. Sorenson hopes that a new option is available soon, and said that community leaders are working towards a solution.

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