Behavioral Health Connect Program (BHCON) Second Quarter Statistics
Mental Health issues affect every aspect of law enforcement from encounters on the street through to incarceration. Since being elected in 2015, Sheriff Bill Elder has committed to ensuring our workforce is well trained and ready to respond to the mental health needs of our community. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training and Crisis Intervention training is provided to EPSO deputies to prepare them to interact with this segment of our population.
In 2018, Sheriff Elder worked with El Paso County Public Health to secure a grant to bring a “Co-Responder” policing model to rural and unincorporated areas of the county. On July 1, 2018, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office joined forces with UCHealth Memorial Hospital to launch the five-year grant funded Behavioral Health Connect Program, also known as BHCON (pronounced Beacon). The program teams an El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy with a Licensed Behavioral Health Clinician for a coordinated response to emergency calls that are mental-health related.
The primary goal of the BHCON unit is to prevent unnecessary incarceration and hospitalization of individuals with mental illness by providing crisis intervention and connecting them to community mental health services. The team also allows the return of law enforcement units to patrol activities and emergency units back into service.
The second quarter BHCON Unit statistics from October 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018, are:
• Responded to 141 calls for service
• Provided services to approximately 122 clients
• Attempted 61 follow-ups with clients
• Approximately 66 % of calls were initiated by a 3rd party requesting welfare check of an individual
• Average age of clients was 32 years old with 60 % being between the age of 18 and 64
• 42% of clients were treated on the scene and provided mental health resources
• 10% of clients were transported to a local medical facility
• 10% of clients were transported to a walk-in center
• 2% of client contacts resulted in an arrest, most often due to outstanding warrants
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.