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Gunnison Valley Health Contracted for Jail-Based Behavioral Health Services

On July 1, Gunnison Valley Health Behavioral Health began a year-long contract with the Gunnison County Jail to run the jail-based behavioral health services (JBBS) program.

According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, this statewide program’s goal is “to provide appropriate behavioral health services to inmates while supporting continuity of care within the community after release from incarceration.”

Adam Murdie, Gunnison County Undersheriff, said he anticipates the partnership with Gunnison Valley Health to improve the program for inmates at the Gunnison County Jail.

“I am looking forward to our partnership with Gunnison Valley Health as it is a local group that we can sit down and collaborate with. I feel the continuity of care amongst the individuals within the Gunnison County Jail will be brought to an entirely new level by having a local organization contracted for JBBS.”

Shelby Mainville, one of Gunnison Valley Health’s Behavioral Health Providers, will provide counseling and case management for inmates. Mainville said she shares Murdie’s optimism.

“We are excited to partner with Gunnison County Jail to provide in-person services to our community members while they are incarcerated and after release. I believe the quality and outcome for individuals served will be improved by offering in-person services versus telehealth.”

According to the contract, Gunnison Valley Health will provide 20 hours of counseling and case management, and four hours of psychiatric services each week. Beginning in October, eight hours of peer support specialist work will be added. All services will be available through an in-person provider from Gunnison Valley Health. In addition, a “recovery fund” is available to aid released individuals with items such as clothing, transportation and other basics to be successful.

Gunnison Valley Health’s Director of Behavioral Health, Kimberly Behounek, said the program aims to reduce recidivism by meeting the behavioral health needs of individuals in the criminal system and also allows the Gunnison Valley Health Behavioral Health department to help more community members in need of care.

“We see this as another opportunity to have a positive impact on the wellness of our community. Gunnison Valley Health has initiated mobile crisis services with law enforcement on July 1 to help individuals receive the care needed and being in the jail is an extension of the same by providing people care where they are at.”

Behounek said Gunnison Valley Health’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) service through Front Range Clinic will be added to the JBBS program as well once details are finalized.