The San Luis Valley Behavioral Health is partnering with the Colorado State Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) in the Colorado Spirit CCP (Crisis Counselling Program). The Colorado Spirit CCP has 16 mental health and other community service providers with local CCP teams around the state. Providers will support geographic areas of Colorado and groups of people that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The CCP is a short-term disaster relief grant for states, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes. CCP grants are awarded after a presidential disaster declaration. The CCP facilitates community-based outreach, counseling, and other mental health services to survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. SLVBHG will service the 6 county SLV region: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache.

The Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) creates a community-based crisis, counseling teams. This program supports Coloradans with the following disaster recovery needs and goals:

  • Help disaster survivors understand their current situation and reactions
  • Reduce stress and provide emotional support
  • Assist survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery options
  • Promote the use or development of coping strategies
  • Connect survivors with people or other agencies who can help them in their recovery process

CCP teams are not traditional mental health providers. Crisis counselors do not diagnose people or treat mental illness. Instead, crisis counselors are a combination of mental health paraprofessionals and professionals who support community members’ functioning and coping with disaster disruptions through crisis counseling services, including:

  • Individual Crisis Counseling—Helps survivors understand their reactions, improve coping strategies, review their options, and connect with other individuals and agencies that may assist them
  • Basic Supportive or Educational Contact— Brief contacts with survivors to share general support and information on resources and services
  • Group Crisis Counseling—Group sessions led by trained crisis counselors who offer skills to help group members cope with their situations and reactions
  • Public Education—Information and education about typical reactions, helpful coping strategies, and available disaster-related resources
  • Community Networking and Support— Relationship building with community resource organizations, faith-based groups, and local agencies
  • Assessment, Referral, and Resource Linkage—Adult and child needs assessment and referral to additional disaster relief services or mental health or substance abuse treatment
  • Development and Distribution of Educational Materials—Flyers, brochures, tip sheets, educational materials, and web site information developed and distributed by CCP staff
  • Media and Public Service Announcements—Media activities and public messaging in partnership with local media outlets, state and local governments, charitable organizations, or other community brokers of information

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and implements the CCP as a supplemental assistance program to support mental health assistance and training activities in presidentially declared major disaster areas. Through an interagency agreement, the Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch of the SAMSHA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) works with FEMA to provide technical assistance, consultation, and training for state and local mental health personnel. CMHS also is responsible for CPP grant administration and program oversight.

Learn more about the program’s mission and services in

SAMHSA’s CCP Brochure. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/ccp.pdf

CDPHE: https://covid19.colorado.gov/state-recovery-assistance/crisis-counseling-program