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Gunnison Valley Health Behavioral Health Initiatives

The Gunnison Valley Health Foundation secures funding for several behavioral health initiatives in our healthcare system. The intended outcomes are to...

  1. Increase access to mental and behavioral healthcare
  2. Reduce mental and behavioral health related hospitalizations
  3. Provide professional care and support for recovery from mental and behavioral health challenges

Peer Support Specialist Program

The Gunnison Valley Health Peer Support Specialist Program improves community care for behavioral health clients and creates a calm environment of trust and safety for hospital patients experiencing behavioral health complications. The Peer Support Specialist (PSS) is a person who has had a mental health experience who uses their recovery experiences as a means to help others diagnosed with a mental illness find their own recovery process. The Peer Support Specialist provides the first line of support for people experiencing a crisis in the community as well as providing a helpful role for patients being discharged from the Emergency Room and in need of long term services.

Gunnison Valley Health’s approach has always been to listen and respond to the needs of the community we serve, and to be responsive to social determinants. To support individuals who have substance use disorders, as well as mental health issues, requires a unique approach due to the high recidivism within this population. An alternative to inpatient hospitalization, peer crisis services are operated by Peer Support Specialists (PSS), people who have personal experience with a mental illness. PSS complement the hospital’s multidisciplinary treatment team approach by providing lived experience and client-oriented insight. Fulfilling a unique services gap, this approach assists patients in their stabilization and recovery by providing reassurance, guidance, information, and encouragement.

For more information contact Gunnison Valley Health Peer Support Specialists:

  • Joe (Monday to Thursday) at 970-596-8182
  • Barbara (Friday to Sunday) at 970-596-0127

You can meet your Peer Support Specialists here and find out how vital their role is in an emergency - /documents/Peer-Support-Specialist-Information.pdf

Additional mental health contacts include:

  • Emergency – call 911
  • Crisis hotline 970-252-6220 or 1-844-493-TALK (8255)