Wash. sheriff's office uses new wellness grant for mental health response
The program will help deputies and COs identify and respond to a mental health crisis as well as potentially in their own lives
By Lake Chelan Now
CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. — With the help of a new grant, Chelan County is creating a program for the Sheriff’s Office and county jail that will help them in identifying and responding to a mental health crisis in the field as well as potentially in their own lives.
“What patrol and corrections can endure during their day-to-day duties can be stressful, even traumatic on their most difficult shifts,” said Ana Gonzalez, manager of the Chelan County Diversion Program and Behavioral Health Unit. “First responders go from call to call, normalizing what goes on in their day. While there are processes that agencies implement during critical incidents, we want to normalize the help-seeking process. Asking for help can be lifesaving.”
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office was recently awarded $57,500 from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to begin developing the in-house wellness program with the assistance of Gonzalez. The funds are state dollars provided by the Criminal Justice Training Commission.