SMART/STARR

The Summit County Sheriff's Office has established the System-wide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) program. The goal of the program is to de-escalate situations that have historically resulted in arrest or hospitalization and to assess whether the person should be referred for local treatment services or a higher level of care.

Each team in the program consists of a law enforcement officer and a behavioral health specialist who co-respond to mental health related police calls. They then collaborate with the third member of the team, the case manager, who provides critical follow-up for the client, connecting them with the most appropriate community resources. The program delivers a continuum of care from crisis response through stabilization, with the ultimate goal of safe return to the community.

The SMART program is designed to address the unique mental health needs of the community. It provides a wide variety of specialized skills, services, and response capabilities reflecting the intersection of Summit County's diverse community and its relationship to mental health. By addressing these needs, SMART is able to make the community a safer place.

HOW TO GET HELP

SMART will respond to emergency and nonemergency crisis calls.

  • Call 911 in an emergency
  • Summit County non-emergency dispatch: 970-668-8600
  • Colorado Crisis Services: 844-493-8255

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has also established the Strategies to Avoid Relapse and Recidivism (STARR) program, which provides substance use and mental health treatment services within the Detention Facility. The team consists of a law enforcement coordinator, Case Manager, and Licensed Mental Health Clinician. Group and individual therapy sessions are offered to motivated inmates, with a focus on changing patterns of substance use, anger, communication and life skills, and addressing trauma. A newer service provided by the STARR program used to treat substance use disorder is Acudetox, which has been found to be effective in helping individuals manage opiate withdrawal symptoms, cope with cravings, and increase overall calmness and wellbeing. 

Mental health is also a focus of the STARR program and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are often utilized. EMDR is the leading intervention for trauma based disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The care of an individual does not end upon release. STARR and SMART teams work closely to link individuals being released from jail to free or low-cost services in the community with competency enhancement and re-entry coordinator services. The teams also collaborate to ensure SMART team clients who are taken into custody have a smooth transition into STARR services. 

Both the SMART and STARR programs are tied together through a shared community based steering committee and stakeholder group.