In an effort to teach local jailers how to deal with mental health crises on the job, the Spindletop Center collaborated with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to host a 40-hour Mental Health Correctional Officer Course on January 27-31.
This course was presented at no cost to the community’s local law enforcement agencies.
The purpose of the Mental Health Correctional Officer Course is to further the education of the correctional officers on identifying, engaging and referring individuals experiencing mental health issues to mental health appropriate programs.
The course offered 12 modules with a site visit to Spindletop Center at the end.
The modules covered communication and de-escalation, mood disorders, thought disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, and suicide, among others.
This was the first Mental Health Correctional Officer Course taught in Southeast Texas.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Spindletop Center have been a pioneer in collaboratively addressing the needs of individuals experiencing symptoms of mental illness and/or substance use disorders for many years,” said Thomas Smith, crisis prevention specialist at Spindletop Center. “Law enforcement, jail administration, the judicial system, the Local Mental Health Authority (Spindletop Center), as well as other community organizations, are working with these individuals with mental illness to ensure efficient and appropriate linkage of mental health and/or substance use services.
“Correctional officers completing the Mental Health Correctional Officer Course will be able to relate key mental health issues to their daily operations within a jail setting as they promote wellness and adherence to behavioral health treatments; and promote recovery when the inmate is reintegrated into the community.”
For more information about the Mental Health Correctional Officer Course, contact Smith at Thomas.Smith@stctr.org or (409) 839-2221.
Spindletop Center is a nonprofit health care organization specializing in behavioral health care, programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and substance use services for each stage of life. The center serves more than 10,000 people annually throughout Jefferson, Hardin, Orange and Chambers counties and has campuses in Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange and Silsbee.
Spindletop Center promotes healthy living in the community through innovative and best-practice options that meet the unique needs of every family. The mission of the Spindletop Center is to help people help themselves by providing resources and supports.