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Crisis Walk-In Center in Montrose

KJCT8 News: Mental health crisis walk-in center open in Montrose

By | Media Coverage, News

September 17, 2019 — After Rocky Mountain Health Plans took over the contract for crisis services statewide, with that came the closure of the 24 hour walk-in center at Mind Springs.

Now, there’s a new one in Montrose.

The new Crisis Walk-In Center will offer things like a 24-hour detox facility, and staffed mental health professionals to help anyone going through a mental crisis.

The new place has 11 beds and is the only facility of its kind between Denver and Salt Lake.

Staff at the center say they hope to take some demand off of hospital emergency rooms.

“I think that the ER’s are overrun with so many substance abuse issues going on right now, that if we can take some of those people and get them into our detox and give them the services that they need, you could definitely see a decrease in hospital admissions because of that,” said Director of Nursing and Emergency Services, Heather Thompson.

Crisis services will be available 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.

Courtesy of KJCT8 News | Back to Press Room

Watch TV footage on KJCT-8
Open House at CMH Crisis Walk-in Center in Montrose

CMH Announces Opening of Crisis Walk-In Center this Spring

By | News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Jackie Brown-Griggs
303-300-2255

Montrose, Colorado — March 29, 2019 — This spring, The Center for Mental Health (The Center or CMH) will open a state-of-the-art Crisis Walk-In Center in Montrose that will provide essential crisis behavioral health services to the six counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel. Currently, those services are not available or are available on a limited scale. The Center for Mental Health will work closely with these communities to ensure that their population has access to urgent behavioral healthcare they may need in the most appropriate and effective of settings. All services will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with walk-in availability. On Friday, March 29, a community open-house was held to give the community, first responders, providers and supporters an opportunity to tour the facility prior to opening.

Last year, The Center for Mental Health responded to nearly 3,500 crisis behavioral situations across the region, largely through its mobile crisis support services. These may include everything from a community member experiencing a severe depressive episode to an overdose to a suicide attempt. “Although our mobile services may have been effective in the treatment of those in need of mental health triage, a mobile service certainly cannot meet the current demand effectively,” said Shelly J. Spalding, Chief Executive Officer for The Center for Mental Health. “The Western Slope community is in dire need of a resource where those with behavioral health episodes can get the care they need, close to home.”

Approximately 10,000 square miles, the six-county region has limited access to urgent behavioral health services. Patients in need of mental health and substance-abuse emergency services, oftentimes travel hundreds of miles to Grand Junction, Durango, or Denver to access care. “In many cases, patients from our area travel four to six hours to a larger city to get the urgent care they need,” said Amanda Jones, Chief Clinical Officer. “That’s simply not acceptable and our citizens deserve better.” In addition to putting lives at risk, this distance makes it nearly impossible for families to visit and support their loved ones during recovery. A local facility will positively impact the lives of people seeking behavioral health services in the community and ensure people can access the critical support they need close to home.

The new Crisis Walk-In Center will provide both mental health and substance abuse services. An on-site, no-appointment-needed Walk-In Clinic will offer rapid response care and then provide patients outpatient services once the crisis is stabilized. “We expect to manage 96 percent of all regional behavioral health episodes in Montrose at the Crisis Walk-in Center,” added Spalding. “For anyone who must leave this region for inpatient care, the care we offer in Montrose will serve as pivotal step down from the hospitalization to living and recovering at home with familial and friend support.

The integrated planning team has worked diligently to ensure that the community will have access to this care when needed. “Our goal is to treat anyone who needs care regardless of their ability to pay,” said Kjersten Davis, Chairman of the Board for CMH. “When a person is faced with a behavioral health crisis, that isn’t the time to turn them away because they may not be able to pay. We are working closely with our third-party payers to make sure most insurance providers will support their care.”

Serving all ages, the new Crisis Walk-In Center will treat children and adolescents as well; currently, these services are nonexistent on the Western Slope. “The adolescent population who needs bed-based mental health or substance abuse care are typically sent to the Front Range. As you can well imagine, this creates a significant burden for parents, friends and extended family members to offer support, resulting in extra stress and trauma for everyone,” adds Jones who brings extensive knowledge of mental health care for the adolescent population.

Substance Abuse Withdrawal Management will be another key service provided. Currently, there are very limited bed-based detox services on the Western Slope. Individuals in need of detox services may access the Walk-In Clinic for an assessment. If the on-site medical providers determine that hospitalization isn’t warranted, outpatient detox therapies will be administered where family members and friends are a welcome part of the treatment process.

In addition to serving the overall community, the burden on law enforcement will be significantly reduced. The Crisis Walk-In Center will help reduce the guess work for first responders who are managing people experiencing behavioral health episodes so they can better determine where the patient should be transported. Currently, when first responders come across an individual exhibiting unusual behavior, one of the options is jail, which is not the calmest location when someone is in their most fragile and vulnerable condition. “The staff at The Center has taken great strides in bridging the gap in immediate care and response for our citizens,” said detective Phil Rosty of the Montrose Police Department. “We are currently partnering police officers across the region with mental health professionals to ensure we provide the best service to those in need. As first responders, this resource provides a specialized and valuable resource for our responding officers to utilize while helping those in crisis.”

The Crisis Walk-In Center will employ nearly 30 people; it will have 11-15 inpatient and observation beds, and can treat approximately 16 people at any given time. “After extensive due diligence, we discovered a need for a facility of this kind was dire,” said Kjersten Davis. “After we raised more than $3 million through public and private funding, we were able to create a place where our citizens can access quality mental health services available for people of all ages and walks of life, void of barriers, physical, cultural, or financial.”

The Center for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization seeking to promote mental health and well-being. It provides behavioral health services through sixteen facilities across 10,000 square miles including Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. Visit www.centermh.org to learn more.

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Gunnison Country Times | September 12, 2019

Media Coverage: Trek For Life to aid those who can’t afford mental health treatment

By | Media Coverage, News

Making care available to all

September 12, 2019 — Out of tragedy, a passion for helping others often is born.

Such is the case for the suicide prevention efforts of Crested Butte part-time resident Paul Uhl. Uhl lost his son, Kyle, to suicide less than a year ago. Kyle took his life in October 2018. He was only 27 years old.

But out of his pain, Uhl took action. He began to raise awareness of the problem in resort communities — and assist with fundraising — which helped lead to the opening of a mental health clinic in Crested Butte.

“People ask me, how can you find the strength after such a tragedy?” said Uhl. “I don’t know that I have the answer. It started with being curious about why people commit suicide. I began to learn about various risk factors… It energized me. This didn’t have to happen.”

But soon afterward, Uhl realized tackling suicide and implementing prevention strategies involved more than just opening a clinic. He wanted to make sure that those who are struggling the most have access to services.

Recognizing financial limitations of many community members, Uhl set out to continue the fundraising effort. This coming Saturday, Sept. 14, his idea to help others will take the next step — literally.

Uhl has planned and launched two events — Trek for Life and the Center for Mental Health fundraiser which follows.

A memorial hike will be held Saturday for those lost to suicide from the Maroon-Snowmass trailhead at Maroon Lake to the Schofield Park trailhead north of Crested Butte. The 10-mile hike will begin at 6:30 a.m., and once hikers reach Schofield, they can either bike, hike or drive the remaining 11.5 miles to the Elevation Hotel and Spa at the base of Mt. Crested Butte.

Elevate Bike Rentals will provide bikes at the trailhead.

Then, a Celebration of Life fundraiser will be held Saturday evening at the Elevation.

A buffet dinner will be served, along with live music by Crawford-based band Clifton Hanger and a live auction featuring Helly Hanson products and other items donated by area merchants.

Kimberly Behounek, Center for Mental Health’s regional director for Gunnison and Hinsdale counties, said her organization is humbled by Uhl’s efforts.

“The need for dollars to pay for treatment is real,” said Behounek. “We experience daily community members saying they want services but can not afford them. We are extremely grateful that Paul has identified the Center for Mental Health Crested Butte clinic as the recipient.”

Uhl said he’s not satisfied with just launching the inaugural event. He plans to make adjustments in the future as the fundraiser continues — and elevate education and outreach to prevent further suicides.

“Addressing risk factors to reduce suicides — that’s my motivation,” said Uhl. “Knowing the risk factors, we can prevent this. We’re already brainstorming about how to engage the community and have broader appeal. Let’s throw the 900-pound gorilla out on Elk Avenue.”

Gunnison Country Times
Chris Rourke is a Times staff writer and can be contacted at 970-641-1414 or chris.rourke@gunnisontimes.com
Gunnison Country Times | September 12, 2019
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CMH Crisis Walk-in Center in Montrose

CMH Completes the Final Stage in Offering Comprehensive Mental Health in Montrose

By | News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Jackie Brown-Griggs
303-300-2255

Montrose, Colorado — September 16, 2019 — The Center for Mental Health will open its state-of-the-art Crisis Walk-In Center (CWC) to the public on September 16th. Located in Montrose, it will provide essential crisis behavioral healthcare services to the six counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel.

Currently, those services are not available or available only on a limited scale. All crisis services will be available every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with walk-in availability.

“We have been working on funding, planning, building, and staffing this facility for two years at this point. We are thrilled to have crossed the finish line and be 100% ready to serve those in our community who need crisis behavioral services,” said Shelly J. Spalding, Chief Executive Officer. “The final details and approvals from those agencies overseeing our Crisis Walk-in Center gave us a bright, green light to open today.”

The new Crisis Walk-In Center is a critical resource on the Western Slope for those experiencing behavioral health crises. For example, last year, CMH responded to nearly 3,500 crisis situations across the region, largely through its mobile crisis support services. These may include everything from a community member experiencing a severe depressive episode to an overdose to a suicide attempt. “Although our mobile services were effective in the treatment of those in need of mental health triage, a mobile service certainly cannot meet the current demand effectively,” added Spalding. “The Western Slope community was in dire need of a resource offering urgent behavioral healthcare, close to home. Often these folks may end up in an emergency room, or even jail, before getting the treatment they really need. This facility will ensure people can get the right care, faster. This has the potential to save lives and get people into recovery more quickly and with less trauma.”

Approximately 10,000 square miles, the six-county region has limited access to urgent behavioral health services.

Clients in need of mental health and substance-abuse emergency services oftentimes travel hundreds of miles to Grand Junction, Durango, or Denver to access care. “In many cases, patients from our area travel four to six hours to get the urgent care they need,” said Amanda Jones, Chief Clinical Officer. “That’s simply not acceptable and our residents deserve better.” In addition to putting lives at risk, this distance makes it nearly impossible for families to visit and support their loved ones during recovery. The new facility will save lives in our community and promote recovery and healing by ensuring people can access the critical support they need close to home.

The CWC provides both mental health and substance abuse services. An on-site, no-appointment-needed Walk-In Clinic will offer rapid response care and then refer clients for outpatient services once the crisis is stabilized.  “We expect to manage 96 percent of all regional behavioral health episodes in Montrose at the CWC,” said Spalding. “For anyone who must leave this region for inpatient care elsewhere, the care we offer in Montrose will serve as a pivotal step from hospitalization to living and recovering at home with familial and friend support.

The integrated planning team has worked diligently to ensure that everyone in the community will have access to this care if needed. “Our goal is to treat anyone needing care regardless of their ability to pay,” said Kjersten Davis, President of the Board for The Center. “When a person is faced with a behavioral health crisis, that isn’t the time to turn them away because they may not be able to pay. We are working closely with our third-party payers to ensure most insurance providers will support their care.” This location will provide services to any one in our six-county region.  In addition, those from anywhere in the state will also be able to come to our facility in an emergency.

Serving all ages, the new Crisis Walk-In Center will treat children and adolescents as well; currently, these services are nonexistent on the Western Slope. Often, adolescents who need inpatient care are sent to the Front Range for evaluation and care. This creates a significant burden for parents, friends, and extended family members who want to offer support, resulting in extra stress and trauma for everyone involved.

Substance withdrawal management is also provided. Currently, there are limited bed-based detox services on the Western Slope. Individuals needing to detox safely may come to the CWC for assessment. If the on-site medical providers determine that hospitalization isn’t warranted, outpatient detox therapies will be administered on-site where family members and friends are a welcome part of the treatment process.

The opening of the Crisis Walk-In Center will help law enforcement and first responders by giving them a valuable local resource. Currently, when first responders come across an individual exhibiting unusual behavior, they often have to choose between going to the emergency department or jail. Neither may be the appropriate location when someone is in crisis. “The staff has taken great strides in bridging the gap in immediate care and response for our citizens,” said detective Phil Rosty of the Montrose Police Department. “We are currently partnering police officers across the region with mental health professionals to ensure we provide the best service to those in need. As first responders, this resource provides a specialized and valuable resource for our responding officers when helping those in crisis.”

The CWC employs about 30 people. It has crisis stabilization and observation beds and can treat approximately 14-16 people at any given time. “After extensive due diligence, we discovered a need for a facility of this kind was dire,” said Kjersten Davis. “After we raised more than $3 million through public and private funding, we were able to create a place where our citizens can access quality behavioral health services available for people of all ages and walks of life, void of barriers, physical, cultural, or financial. We are thankful that the final stage is complete.”

The Center for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization seeking to promote mental health and well-being. It provides behavioral healthcare services through more than ten facilities across 10,000 square miles including Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties. Visit www.centermh.org to learn more.

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Attendees mingle before the STAT community presentation at the Montrose County Event Center on Thursday. (Emily Ayers, Montrose Daily Press)

Community orgs partner for school threat assessment

By | Media Coverage, News

September 13, 2019 — If addressing potential threats in schools seems daunting, there is now a standardized process for threat assessment that takes a community-oriented approach to helping students.

The Montrose County School District RE1-J, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, The Center for Mental Health and the Montrose Police Department partnered to bring a presentation of the Salem-Keizer System of Assessing Student Threats to the community Thursday at the Montrose County Event Center.

“The program places an emphasis on whole family health,” said Laura Byard, regional director for The Center for Mental Health, in a release from Montrose County. “Ongoing assessments will help families and students engage with services, break down barriers and foster a collaborative effort for success.”

The program began with the creation of a Student Threat Assessment Team (STAT) consisting of professionals committed to finding a path to success for at-risk students.

The program was presented by John Van Dreal, a school psychologist and director of security, safety, and risk management for the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon. Van Dreal covered the program background, basic principles and walked attendees through an example threat assessment case with audience questions at the end.

School District Director of Safety and Security James Pavlich opened the presentation saying that it had been a successful week for the participating organizations in Montrose.

“For the last four days we have trained 140 people,” said Pavlich. “They trained on Level I and Level II threat assessment tactics. We are excited about how we can support youth and families in our community.”

The training taught team members how to present an investigation to STAT. It starts from the ground up with team members on the district level alerting the STAT team if any behavioral issues arise. The next step is to gather information for the case and to establish a plan to get at-risk students on track for success.

Van Dreal emphasized that early prevention is at the core of the program. He said that the goal is to stop a students’ trajectory and to turn them around.

“We don’t profile potential [at-risk students],” said Van Dreal. “We look at what level of behavior and activity they are exhibiting and then determine interventions that are designed to address the concern.”

During that assessment process, Van Dreal said that teams will often pull resources from community experts and agencies that serve the youth in the community. He said this provides more perspectives when handling different cases. A diverse skill set and perspective is one of the reasons why the police department is part of the planning process as well.

“Police are natural investigators, and can help share that responsibility,” said Van Dreal. “There is safety in numbers and a balancing of moods and skill sets [when working together]. It’s not just one person making a decision.”

In a release from Montrose County, Cmdr. Matt Smith of the Montrose Police Department said that, “The most exciting aspects of this model for law enforcement are the front-end management of potential risks, and the supervision of those cases subsequent to their discovery. [The system] seeks to foster collaboration between community stakeholders, which is often lacking when addressing threats in our community.”

Another basic principle of the model is the type of language used by professionals and the public surrounding at-risk students.

“We want to use careful language when we refer to youth,” said Van Dreal. “Instead of labeling someone as a ‘violent student’ we need to change that so we are describing the child’s behavior. Instead we could say: he is in a situation that poses a risk for violence.”

To support more careful language, the threat assessment system looks at an aggression continuum by Eric Johnson, Ph.D. The continuum helps professionals determine whether an aggression is reactive or targeted. Threat assessment specifically serves to prevent targeted acts of aggression.

“Most of the interactions happening at a school level are reactive forms of aggression,” said Van Dreal. He explained this as children reacting to being told to do homework or go to detention.

“You have to look at the context of a situation and analyze the facts to determine whether someone plans on attacking,” said Van Dreal. “[Ask yourself] does the behavior meet the threat?”

Van Dreal used an example of a cat being backed into a corner. The cat will claw and hiss and bite because it feels threatened. Similarly, if a youth feels backed into a corner they will react. They will threaten, and they will say aggressive things out of anger. He said that it’s the STATS job to ask the question “does this person ‘pose’ a threat,” not “did the person ‘make’ a threat.”

One of the management strategies that Van Dreal presented is to increase the number of inhibitors present in a youth’s life. He said inhibitors are aspects of life such as employment, finances, health, or looking to the future.

“Often times these children don’t have these inhibitors or those things that make their lives meaningful,” said Van Dreal. “Our job is to put those inhibitors back into their life to nudge them on the right path.”

Van Dreal said that simply asking kids, “how can I help you with that,” makes a huge impact. He said most at-risk youth are missing a pro-social connection in their life that would make all the difference.

Van Dreal ended his presentation by reaffirming the importance of looking at the whole student and not vilifying them.

This approach to risk assessment can have a positive impact on communities because, as Van Dreal said, it helps take away the fear aspect that can interfere with the success of students. This community-approach model helps to increase the physical and psychological sense of safety in a community when it is known that potential risks are being addressed.

“I hope I’ve conveyed that we are pro-student and pro-safety,” said Van Dreal. “We want to provide respect and support [for students] to be able to do the right thing and to become good people.”

 

Montrose Daily Press

Emily Ayers is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.  You can reach her at emilya@montrosepress.com
Montrose Daily Press | September 13, 2019
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The Center for Mental Health, Telluride

The Center for Mental Health Expands to New Telluride Location

By | News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Jackie Brown-Griggs
303-300-2255

Telluride, Colorado — August 29, 2019 — Due to increasing behavioral healthcare needs in the Telluride community, The Center for Mental Health (CMH) has moved to a new location downtown to better serve the community. A community open house is scheduled for Thursday, August 29th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. where the community can come to meet clinicians and learn more about the services offered.  Comments from CMH leadership are scheduled for 2 p.m.

Currently, comprehensive behavioral health services are limited based on the needs of the population. “We understand the need for these services given the research we have done in the communities we serve,” said Shelly J. Spalding, CEO of The Center for Mental Health. “We are fully anticipating that we will continue to work with the mental health professionals already located in Telluride. This will simply offer the community more and expanded options.”

Staffed with certified behavioral health professionals, the Telluride location  will offer a convenient, local resource for mental and behavioral healthcare services such as comprehensive mental-health assessments, medication management, family and individual therapy, substance use and abuse treatment, support groups, suicide  prevention as well as grief, depression, and anxiety counseling. “Our mountain communities need and deserve high-quality behavioral health services close to home,” added Laura Byard, CMH’s regional director who oversees operations in Telluride.  “Thankfully the taboo around mental healthcare is decreasing and people are seeking help. Our goal is to help our community learn about behavioral health and get the help they need to live life in Telluride to the fullest.”

The Western Slope, an area of approximately 10,000 square miles, has had limited access to behavioral health services, but CMH is making strides in filling the void.

The new Telluride location  will offer appointments during regular business hours, as well as walk-in times when new clients can come in to get started on treatment. “Our goal is to continue to be part of the Telluride community and to increase our presence and the services we offer,” added Spalding. In the event someone has a mental health emergency crisis or needs short-term inpatient care, they will be able to get services from the new Crisis Walk-In Center, opening to the public in mid-September. The Crisis Walk-In Center, located in Montrose, will offer detox services, walk-in care, and crisis stabilization as well as inpatient care, if needed.

The Center for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization seeking to promote mental health and well-being. It provides behavioral health services across 10,000 square miles including Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. The Center for Mental Health accepts Medicare, Medicaid, most insurance, and offers a sliding fee schedule based on income. Visit www.centermh.org to learn more.

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The Center for Mental Health, Crested Butte

New Center for Mental Health Location Opens in Crested Butte

By | News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Jackie Brown-Griggs
303-300-2255

Crested Butte, CO — June 6, 2019 — The Center for Mental Health (CMH) will open new offices in Crested Butte offering behavioral services to the community. The Center will work closely with the area’s health care professionals to inform the community that behavioral health counseling is available in a confidential and appropriate setting. Services will be available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed for lunch 1:00 to 2:00).

Currently, comprehensive behavioral health services are limited based on the need of the population. “We are excited to work with local health care professionals to expand the mental health services available to our community,” said Kimberly Behounek, LPC, CACIII, Regional Director for Gunnison and Hinsdale counties. “The combination of peer support, substance-abuse counseling, mental health therapy and medication management services will make CMH another resource for those needing help.” CMH will offer these services at an important time when the need for behavioral health care is on the rise. “The community recognized the need and came together to make it happen,” added Behounek. “It wouldn’t be possible without Gunnison Valley Health and local philanthropic dollars.”

“There was no question that we needed to expand mental health resources to Crested Butte,” said Rob Santilli, CEO, Gunnison Valley Health. “Together with CMH and the local independent practitioners, we are identifying innovative programs that will help make a positive impact in our community,” he said. “The addition of our joint peer support specialists who have experience at both ends of the Valley demonstrates our commitment to build effective outreach programs that will connect those in need. We are pleased to be part of the solution to help create a healthier community,” added Santilli.

The Western Slope, an area of approximately 10,000 square miles, has had limited access to behavioral health services, but CMH is making strides in fulfilling the void. “We are honored to be a reputable, integral provider of behavioral health services in our communities,” said Shelly J. Spalding, CEO of the Center for Mental Health. “Providing behavioral health services in Crested Butte has been a priority and we look forward to meeting the needs of folks in Crested Butte close to home. In addition, residents of Crested Butte will have access to the services offered by our new Crisis Walk-In Center in Montrose, 24 hours a day, 7 days week without having to drive to Grand Junction or Durango in a crisis situation.” The Center accepts Medicaid, Medicare and certain insurance and offers a sliding fee schedule based on income.

“Our family was faced with an unspeakable tragedy when our son, Kyle took his life,” said Paul Uhl, part-time resident and philanthropist. “We believe the opening of CMH is only the tip of the iceberg and it’s critical in addressing this and other issues in our community.” Uhl and other community leaders were all impressed how the community came together to make this location a reality in raising the necessary funds.

Serving all ages, the new location will also treat children and adolescents with a part-time therapist with pediatric training. “We are at a turning point in our ability to serve the pediatric and adolescent populations,” said Laura Rogers, nurse practitioner at CMH Crested Butte. “With more kids facing depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies, it’s critical to have someone with whom they can talk.” If it’s determined that someone has greater needs than the treatment options available in Crested Butte can address, the Center can refer them to another contact in the area near Crested Butte.  “The need for mental health care can truly be a life and death situation when someone reaches out for help,” emphasized Uhl.

The Center for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization seeking to promote mental health and well-being. It provides behavioral health services across 10,000 square miles including Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. Visit www.centermh.org to learn more.

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The general population area is shown inside the Montrose County Detention Center Monday. The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office is receiving funds to improve jail-based mental health services. (Justin Tubbs/Montrose Daily Press)

Jails score $600K for mental health needs

By | Media Coverage, News

The Center for Mental Health is a partner in new grant funding to increase jail-based behavioral health services in Montrose, Delta, San Miguel and Gunnison counties

April 2, 2019 — Jail-based mental health services are poised to increase in the 7th Judicial District, thanks to a state grant that brings more resources to Montrose, Delta, San Miguel and Gunnison counties.

“This will give us additional mental health clinicians inside of our jails, as far as monitoring the inmates, which will help them as far as suicide prevention and drug-use and addiction,” said Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard, whose agency is administering the Jail-Based Behavioral Health Services Mental Health Expansion grant on behalf of all four counties, in conjunction with The Center for Mental Health.

“This is going to be win-win for all of the counties and The Center for Mental Health. We’re very excited about this.”

The Gunnison and San Miguel county sheriffs could not be reached Monday for comment.

“It allows the Delta County Sheriff’s Office detention facility to have an (additional) mental health clinician in our jail who supports inmates with substance abuse and any other issues they might have, that they normally wouldn’t get in a jail setting,” Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor said.

The two remaining counties in the 7th Judicial District, Hinsdale and Ouray, do not have their own jails.

The hefty grant consists of more than $165,000 for the last remaining months of this fiscal year, plus more than $507,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Center for Mental Health grant writer Janey Sorensen said.

A final contract is pending with the state Office of Behavioral Health.

The award provides money to hire more full-time equivalent mental health service providers to work in the jails, based on a prior needs assessment that was conducted as part of the application process.

The funding also includes money for recovery support when an inmate is released, to help that person live successfully in the community, Sorensen said.

The grant’s program manager is an MCSO employee, who will work with a Center for Mental Health program coordinator. The two in turn will be working with the jail administrators in all four of the counties, as well as with existing mental health service provider for the jail, CHP.

Lillard said the grant fills critical needs in the 7th Judicial District, where drug addiction and a high suicide rate are serious issues and long-term residential mental health care services are lacking. The $600,000-plus that’s coming the jails’ way will help bring in more clinicians, he said.

Sorensen said an earlier grant, awarded in 2012, brought jail-based counseling services in, but there were “holes” in that program: those benefiting had to have a substance abuse issue; funding did not provide for medication and it did not pay for psychiatry.

“I think the state took a long look at this and decided to expand services to make them more comprehensive,” she said. “… This new grant fills all of those holes and it’s going to be such a wonderful thing for the region.”

The new grant is an extension to the 2012 grant, for which Delta County is the pass-through, Taylor said.

His jail, too, has existing clinician services and a trained mental health co-responder who can accompany officers on calls when circumstances require it is stationed at the DCSO.

Both grants have helped area jails, Taylor said.

“It’s been a big help to have clinicians stationed in our detention facility,” he said.

The most recent grant money came from a law passed last year, which allocated more funding for jail based behavioral services. “The state recognized the four jails in our region as eligible and in need of these services. It was generous on their part to target funds where they were needed,” Sorensen said.

“This will give us additional counselors on board,” Lillard said. “Right now, we are up to seven days a week, 20 hours a day, for counseling and medical, provided by CHP… This will give us more money to be able to monitor our inmates and help them in crisis.”

Montrose County Sheriff’s Office is the fiscal agent for the new grant, because it has the most inmates and need, he said.

The expansion of services fits with overall needs and enhances resources, Lillard said.

Montrose Daily Press

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the senior writer for the Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter @kathMDP.
Montrose Daily Press | April 2, 2019
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CMH Crisis Walk-in Center in Montrose

CMH Announces Opening of Crisis Walk-In Center this Spring

By | News, Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact
Jackie Brown-Griggs
303-300-2255

Montrose, Colorado — March 29, 2019 — This spring, The Center for Mental Health (The Center or CMH) will open a state-of-the-art Crisis Walk-In Center in Montrose that will provide essential crisis behavioral health services to the six counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel. Currently, those services are not available or are available on a limited scale. The Center for Mental Health will work closely with these communities to ensure that their population has access to urgent behavioral healthcare they may need in the most appropriate and effective of settings. All services will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with walk-in availability. On Friday, March 29, a community open-house was held to give the community, first responders, providers and supporters an opportunity to tour the facility prior to opening.

Last year, The Center for Mental Health responded to nearly 3,500 crisis behavioral situations across the region, largely through its mobile crisis support services. These may include everything from a community member experiencing a severe depressive episode to an overdose to a suicide attempt. “Although our mobile services may have been effective in the treatment of those in need of mental health triage, a mobile service certainly cannot meet the current demand effectively,” said Shelly J. Spalding, Chief Executive Officer for The Center for Mental Health. “The Western Slope community is in dire need of a resource where those with behavioral health episodes can get the care they need, close to home.”

Approximately 10,000 square miles, the six-county region has limited access to urgent behavioral health services. Patients in need of mental health and substance-abuse emergency services, oftentimes travel hundreds of miles to Grand Junction, Durango, or Denver to access care. “In many cases, patients from our area travel four to six hours to a larger city to get the urgent care they need,” said Amanda Jones, Chief Clinical Officer. “That’s simply not acceptable and our citizens deserve better.” In addition to putting lives at risk, this distance makes it nearly impossible for families to visit and support their loved ones during recovery. A local facility will positively impact the lives of people seeking behavioral health services in the community and ensure people can access the critical support they need close to home.

The new Crisis Walk-In Center will provide both mental health and substance abuse services. An on-site, no-appointment-needed Walk-In Clinic will offer rapid response care and then provide patients outpatient services once the crisis is stabilized. “We expect to manage 96 percent of all regional behavioral health episodes in Montrose at the Crisis Walk-in Center,” added Spalding. “For anyone who must leave this region for inpatient care, the care we offer in Montrose will serve as pivotal step down from the hospitalization to living and recovering at home with familial and friend support.

The integrated planning team has worked diligently to ensure that the community will have access to this care when needed. “Our goal is to treat anyone who needs care regardless of their ability to pay,” said Kjersten Davis, Chairman of the Board for CMH. “When a person is faced with a behavioral health crisis, that isn’t the time to turn them away because they may not be able to pay. We are working closely with our third-party payers to make sure most insurance providers will support their care.”

Serving all ages, the new Crisis Walk-In Center will treat children and adolescents as well; currently, these services are nonexistent on the Western Slope. “The adolescent population who needs bed-based mental health or substance abuse care are typically sent to the Front Range. As you can well imagine, this creates a significant burden for parents, friends and extended family members to offer support, resulting in extra stress and trauma for everyone,” adds Jones who brings extensive knowledge of mental health care for the adolescent population.

Substance Abuse Withdrawal Management will be another key service provided. Currently, there are very limited bed-based detox services on the Western Slope. Individuals in need of detox services may access the Walk-In Clinic for an assessment. If the on-site medical providers determine that hospitalization isn’t warranted, outpatient detox therapies will be administered where family members and friends are a welcome part of the treatment process.

In addition to serving the overall community, the burden on law enforcement will be significantly reduced. The Crisis Walk-In Center will help reduce the guess work for first responders who are managing people experiencing behavioral health episodes so they can better determine where the patient should be transported. Currently, when first responders come across an individual exhibiting unusual behavior, one of the options is jail, which is not the calmest location when someone is in their most fragile and vulnerable condition. “The staff at The Center has taken great strides in bridging the gap in immediate care and response for our citizens,” said detective Phil Rosty of the Montrose Police Department. “We are currently partnering police officers across the region with mental health professionals to ensure we provide the best service to those in need. As first responders, this resource provides a specialized and valuable resource for our responding officers to utilize while helping those in crisis.”

The Crisis Walk-In Center will employ nearly 30 people; it will have 11-15 inpatient and observation beds, and can treat approximately 16 people at any given time. “After extensive due diligence, we discovered a need for a facility of this kind was dire,” said Kjersten Davis. “After we raised more than $3 million through public and private funding, we were able to create a place where our citizens can access quality mental health services available for people of all ages and walks of life, void of barriers, physical, cultural, or financial.”

The Center for Mental Health is a nonprofit organization seeking to promote mental health and well-being. It provides behavioral health services through sixteen facilities across 10,000 square miles including Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. Visit www.centermh.org to learn more.

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