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FY 21 Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Responses

Award Information

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Competitive Discretionary
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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $474,024)

This proposal has a statewide focus covering the Colorado population of 5,758,736 residents, of which 68 percent are non-Hispanic White, 22 percent are Hispanic, and five percent are Black.1 The project sequentially builds from a 2019 JMHCP planning grant (award number: 2019-MO-BX-0029) to develop specialized responses for 911 calls involving behavioral health crises. Nationally, Colorado has a higher prevalence of behavioral disorders and lower rates of access to care2 and the 5th highest suicide rate in the country.3 Many of the individuals who died by suicide had diagnosed mental health problems, but less than one third were receiving treatment, an issue that was worse for people of color who were less likely to have mental health treatment due to differential access to services.4  Calls to 911 involving behavioral health crises presents a critical intervention to connect people with treatment resources and reverse these trends. 
    The applicant agency, the Colorado Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Justice, will partner with the Colorado 911 Resource Center, Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, Mental Health Colorado, Colorado Mental Wellness Network, Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, and the Colorado Task Force Concerning the Treatment of Individuals with Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System to accomplish the grant goals. 

    Specifically, this project requests $474024.05 to accomplish the following activities and deliverables planned during the 2019 JMHCP grant: (1) A web-based interactive planning process and decision-making tool for region specific specialized responses; (2) A specialized response program registry and interactive map; (3) Several eLearning courses for emergency responders; and (4) State designated JMHCP peer learning sites modeled after the national program. It will also: (1) Explore a voluntary registry for individuals who want information on their disability available to emergency responders to dispatch specialized responses and (2) Develop a model peer specialist pilot program, focused on post-crisis peer-led engagement and support services navigation to decrease repeat crisis intervention needs.   

This project will address the DOJ priorities through training to improve relationships between underserved communities and emergency responders and piloting project tools in a persistent poverty area of the state.

A portion of the grant will be subcontracted to a yet to be determined agency to pilot the peer specialist navigation program. The model developed during the planning phase will determine the number of individuals that will be served.

Date Created: December 16, 2021