Behavioral Health Connect Program (BHCON) First Year in Service Statistics

July 29, 2019

A year ago, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), UCHealth and El Paso County Public Health to launch a five-year grant funded Behavioral Health Connect Program, also known as BHCON. The program paired an El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy with a Licensed Behavioral Health Clinician from UCHealth to provide a coordinated response to mental health related calls for service in El Paso County. 

The goal of the two-person BHCON Unit is to prevent the unnecessary incarceration and/or hospitalization of individuals with mental illness.  They accomplish this by providing crisis intervention and linking individuals to community programs that can support and sustain their mental health.  The unit also allows the return of law enforcement units to patrol activities and emergency units back into rotation.

The BHCON Unit June 30, 2018 – July 1, 2019 statistics are: 
• Responded to 573 calls for service 
• Conducted 212 Follow-up attempts 
• 243 calls for service resulted in on scene crisis intervention and linking individuals to community resources
• 115 calls for service resulted in a transport to local hospital or psychiatric center of individuals  
• 14 calls for service resulted in arrest. 

We want to thank our partners with UCHealth Memorial Hospital, Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), El Paso County Public Health and National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) for their support of Sheriff Elder’s initiative to improve the office’s response to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

The media is invited to interview members of the BHCON Unit today, July 29, 2019, 11:00 am, at the Office of the Sheriff, 27, E Vermijo Avenue. 

MR 19-080