Co-Responders – Right Service, Right Place, Right Time

July 21, 2021
Co-Responders – Right Service, Right Place, Right Time

Mental health issues are widespread. They affect our friends, our families, and ourselves.


46%
46% of adults will experience some type of mental health issue in their lifetime.

one in five people
One in five people every year have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

What happens if mental health challenges place us in physical danger or require intervention from law enforcement? Historically, first responders have fielded behavioral health calls through the 911 system alone. With this traditional model, three options were typically available for 911 calls involving someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis: detox, emergency room, or jail.

In recent years, communities are changing how they respond to behavioral health crises – with many Weld County communities leading the charge. We’re thrilled to report that North Range has experienced over three years of wonderful co-responder collaboration with the Evans Police Department and the Greeley Police Department.

This co-responder model allows first responders to dispatch behavioral health workers as needed when they respond to 911 calls. Co-responders can come on scene to help de-escalate and assess behavioral health situations when appropriate. They may also follow up on a call when first responders identify that a behavioral health support might be helpful.

Squad 1 also shifts how people get connected to behavioral health support. Squad 1 is a unique and innovative collaborative partnership between North Range Behavioral Health, the Greeley Fire Department, and the North Colorado Health Alliance Care Management Team.

Weld County is rich with a collaborative spirit.  In fact, we’re excited to announce that we are about to embark on co-responder relationships with Frederick, Firestone, Dacono, Mead, Eaton, Ault, Severance, Windsor, and Nunn. Together we’ll aim to shift the paradigm and pair first responders with behavioral health clinicians to help more people get the help they need.  



In recent years, communities are changing how they respond to behavioral health crises – with many Weld County communities leading the charge. 



At North Range, co-responders are part of the North Range crisis support continuum of care.

Co-Responders can:

  • Provide compassionate support.
  • Sit with a person in moments of crisis and discomfort.
  • Connect people to behavioral health and/or substance abuse services.
  • Provide space for people to express thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement.
  • Collaborate with first responders on actions that can support a person’s behavioral health needs.

The co-responder model of care is an example of the people-centered innovation our communities have come to know and expect from North Range.


Learn more about our behavioral health support for 911 situations:

Squad 1 on the Weld Found Podcast
Pairing Mental Health Counselors with Police on Calls Shows Promise – The Colorado Trust