News Article Details

New job addressing mental health at county jail

St. Joseph News-Press - 10/7/2018

Oct. 07--Inmates in the Buchanan County Jail are getting some help with mental health concerns thanks to a new hire by the Family Guidance Center.

The position, a jail clinician, was made possible through a United Way grant.

The services provided by Cindy Trenkle in that position have been a success in addressing mental health issues and cutting down on hospital emergency room visits, Jen Gentry, Family Guidance Center community liaison, and Thomas Cates, Buchanan County Jail administrator, both said.

"The purpose was to really help connect to resources within the jail to be able to address a lot of the mental health issues individuals were coming in with and also be able to cut down on the strain of jail staff of needing to transport people to the hospital when they were in crisis," Gentry said.

Cates said the position has been a difference-maker for the jail.

"It has been -- without exaggeration -- the greatest difference-maker we have had since I took over as jail administrator ... and in that time this has been the largest difference we have made within the jail as far as managing crises go," Cates said.

Alonzo Weston can be reached

at alonzo.weston@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.

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