May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Written on 05/02/2024
Cheri Spottke

The Westminster Co-Responder Unit (CRU) is made up of four mental health clinicians, one supervisor, and one case management coordinator who can respond to mental health & substance use related calls for service. These calls can include de-escalation, crisis and risk assessments, aging issues such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, juvenile concerns, substance use/misuse/abuse concerns, and resource navigation, among others. The CRU works closely with patrol officers, detectives, dispatchers, fire personnel, victim advocates, homeless navigators, the Westminster municipal court, park rangers, and even animal management, as well as other city employees. For example, there have been several incidents in the city recently where co-responders have assisted with SWAT/negotiators to assist with individuals who were suffering from a mental health or substance abuse crisis. The use of the co-responder’s skills and abilities have helped in identifying common signs and symptoms of mental health issues, problem solving, and de-escalating individuals to help obtain peaceful detainment. If anyone in the community is needing support, they can call the Westminster Police Department’s non-emergent line at 303.658.4360 option 1 and ask to speak with a Co-Responder. The CRU is available on most days between 6am and 11pm and provides 7-day coverage. Individuals can also call or text 988 to speak with a trained professional, 24/7.