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El Paso’s Criminal Incident Response Team is 1st in Texas to provide free mental health services


EL PASO, Texas-- It's the first of it's kind in the state of Texas and it's here in El Paso.

Since the Aug. 3 Walmart shooting in El Paso, Emergence Health Network's Community Recovery Center has provided over 800 victims with mental health assistance free of charge all thanks to the Criminal Incident Response Team (CIRT).

"Whether it's calling to be able to kinda talk to someone, or being able to come in for a session or two we have these resources available, why not take advantage," said Sara Polk, clinical supervisor for CIRT.

"So really it's to be able to serve victims of crime generally, but also to be able to have a team that would mobilize in the event of a natural disaster or a mass shooting," added Polk.

Emergence Health Network is spearheading CIRT through a state grant it applied for prior to the Aug. 3 shootings.

The CIRT unit offers free therapeutic services to victims and others impacted by crimes.

"If your family member was impacted and doesn't wanna get help but you wanna make sure that you support them as best as you can, we offer help for that," said Polk.

Licensed therapists are always on staff. Therapists and clients will go through an assessment together to help develop a treatment plan that is best for the client. If needed, the center can help clients get in touch with additional outside sources.

"There are a lot of ways that a traumatic event like this can impact you. Whether you were there or were not, it impacts everybody very differently. That's what we're here for and we can help you with that."

Click here if you would like more information on the free services Emergence Health Network offers.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.


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