Chelan County is using grant money to support a mental health program for people who work inside the Sheriff's Office or county jail.

A $57,500 grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs is being used to start up an in-house wellness program.

It'll be done with the assistance of the Sheriff's own Behavioral Health Unit, which has trained crisis responders who already ride along with deputies in the field.

The initial program will be developed for the Sheriff’s Office and then rolled over to the jail to provide services to workers dealing with their own mental health issues.

“We want our first responders to take the information that we give them and use it not only in the field but also in their own lives,” said Ana Gonzalez, manager of the Chelan County Diversion Program and Behavioral Health Unit.

“By knowing the risk factors or signs of a person who is in a mental health crisis, a first responder will be better able to recognize these indicators in their own loved ones or even themselves.”

The new program could offer assistance in area such as suicide prevention; burnout, personal resilience and self-care for Sheriff's Office and jail employees.

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