We’re thrilled to spotlight the remarkable strides in elevating mental health care services within our local law enforcement through our partnership with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

This year, two dedicated Axis team members received La Plata County Sheriff’s Office awards for their exceptional service, underlining the impact of collaborative efforts between public services and organizations in addressing rural health disparities.

Mental Health Care at the La Plata County Jail

Emily Riggs was honored as the Detentions Contracted Employee of the Year 2023, acknowledging her vital work in Jail-based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) and Jail Transitions (JT) at the La Plata County Jail. Emily, alongside Axis’ JBBS team, plays a pivotal role in supporting inmates’ mental health and recovery during their time in custody and as they transition back into the community. The La Plata County Jail programs served more than 600 people and provided more than 6500 services in 2023.

La Plata County Co-Responder Program

Megan Deaver, a Licensed Social Worker, was awarded the Operations Co-Responder Therapist of the Year for her significant contributions to the LPC Co-Responder (CORE) team. Working closely with Sheriff’s Deputy Alayna Latimore, Megan has been instrumental in the success of the CORE program since its launch in 2023.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Sheriff’s Office and welcomed into their organization the way I have been. It’s been such a unique experience to be a therapist in a law enforcement setting, and I’m excited to see where the program goes. The response to the CORE team within the community of La Plata County has been amazing, and we’ve been able to build some really special relationships with clients and community partners. Deputy Terry Brookins and Axis therapist Kain Ellis, who make up the second LP-CORE team, have also worked so hard to make the program a success; they are both huge assets on the team.” -Megan

The La Plata CORE program addresses community needs with empathy, support, and resource connection. It promotes a model of care rooted in compassion. This co-response approach has made impactful strides since its inception, providing a wide array of services in response to over 800 calls for assistance, resolving the vast majority on the scene, and reducing unnecessary strain on emergency services. This innovative community response program aims to reduce law enforcement responses to non-criminal calls by offering a holistic approach to community needs, further proving the power of collaboration in creating sustainable change. The program, characterized by a response as diverse as the challenges it addresses, connects individuals to a range of services, from healthcare to housing.

Kudos to all involved in making these initiatives successful- bridging gaps, fostering safe communities, and ensuring everyone receives the care and support they deserve. These front-line professionals’ hard work and dedication make a difference in countless lives and pave the way for a future where mental health care is accessible and integrated into every aspect of our community support systems.

Through partnerships like these, we can tackle the challenging but essential work of making mental health care accessible to all, especially the underserved. Big thanks to the LPC Sheriff’s Office and all the community organizations for leading the way in making a difference. In an era where rural healthcare can be very complex, we are reminded that the way forward is paved with partnerships.