Midland Crisis Intervention Unit helping those who need mental health support and resources

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:31 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Law enforcement isn’t the only West Texas agency that respond to emergencies.

The Midland Crisis Intervention Unit also responds to situations involving a person dealing with a mental battle.

“You meet them on their worst day of their lives, what they’re going through,” said Ulanda Suggs, Director of Midland Crisis Intervention. “You see abuse of children, elderly, deceased bodies, you’ll see all of that.”

Back in the 1980s, the Midland Crisis Intervention Unit was created to work alongside the Midland County Sheriff’s office after discovering a great need for mental health support and resources.

“We just talk to them, we just consult them the best that we can to let them know that everything is going to be okay,” said Suggs. “We kinda tell them about what’s going to happen, depending on the nature of the investigation.”

Ulanda Suggs is one of two paid staff members on the CIU.

“I love to help people, that’s something I always like to do,” said Suggs.

The rest is made up of more than 20 volunteers that undergo a 6-8 week crisis training with different agencies to learn how to identify and deescalate high-pressure moments on scene.

“We have the Rape Crisis Center, Safe Place at the Permian Basin for battered women, our death investigators, Red Cross, and our fire marshal’s that come out and train our volunteers,” said Suggs.

To date, the Crisis Intervention Unit has responded to 36 unattended death calls for the year.

“Last month we had three homicides, that we were called out to, a suicide that we were called out to you in the county,” said Suggs.

A majority of the Crisis Intervention Unit are volunteers, if you’re interested in helping officers and becoming a part of the unit you can contact the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.

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