EPSO launches TRUST to help prisoner mental health

EPSO launches TRUST to help prisoner mental health

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) has launched a new pilot program aimed at helping incarcerated individuals experiencing emotional or behavioral distress.

The TRUST (Therapeutic Response Unit and Stabilization Team) program provides a therapeutic response to situations experienced by inmates at the El Paso County Jail. The team will respond to inmates in behavioral health crisis and will also be responsible for engaging skills within the prison.

Personalized advice is also provided by the TRUST team and includes; service planning, diagnostic and medication referrals, and behavior modification and transition planning. The team also makes sure to offer a continuum of care and access to resources.

“Addressing mental health issues is a priority for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,” EPSO Sheriff Bill Elder said. “People facing a behavioral health crisis will now have the option of an enhanced law enforcement response in the prison.”

The specialized unit is made up of two clinicians and a supervisor, all trained in crisis management. In the first month of the initiative, EPSO says the program was successful in defusing prisoners suffering from acute and prolonged emotional distress.

The TRUST team also assists EPSO MEPs in de-escalation and crisis intervention strategies, which are geared towards recovery and resilience.

“This interaction will provide the best outcomes for people in crisis. I am committed to ensuring that our workforce is well prepared to respond and deal with this segment of our population,” Elder said.

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