EP County Sheriff’s Office provide training
to see the signs and symptoms of mental illness

Think.Change Initiative

Over the past three years, more than 400 individuals from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office – Special Needs Unit received training on how to see the signs and symptoms of mental illness. The Sheriff’s Office further established an in-house crisis-line to Emergence Health Network crisis counselors. It also provides, bilingual mental health awareness literature and mental health resources cards to inmates when they leave the detention facility. Notably, Special Needs Unit officers now wear blue shirts to distinguish them as trained in mental health first aid.

Mental Health First-Aid/Sheriff photo

The grant to the Sheriff’s Office was made as part of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s (Health Foundation) Think.Change Initiative, which supports efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, increase training for mental health providers and explore structural changes in the region’s behavioral treatment system.

The El Paso County Commissioners Court approved a Resolution honoring the Paso del Norte Health Foundation for their support and work to make necessary systematic changes to reduce negative bias associated with mental illness.