Behavioral Health Crisis Response Systems Webinar Series

NW Crisis Response GearsLearn about the most cutting-edge work being done across the country to care for people with mental health and/or substance use disorders who are in crisis. More and more communities are recognizing the importance of developing a behavioral health crisis response that has the capacity to meet diverse needs with a comprehensive range of interventions. Behavioral health (BH) crisis response is becoming regarded as an essential community service, like police, firefighters, or emergency medical services. This webinar series describes the characteristics of such a BH crisis system, and shares examples from diverse communities in various stages of development.


Creating and Sustaining High Quality Crisis Services:
Lessons from Arizona

March 20, 2020
Presenter: Margie Balfour, MD, PhD

Arizona has spent the past several decades developing a crisis system that is widely regarded as one of the most advanced in the nation. In this model, a robust continuum of services work together in concert to provide high-quality care in the least-restrictive setting that can safely meet the person’s needs while also ensuring fiscal sustainability and responsible stewardship of community resources. This session will describe key features of the Arizona model including 1) overview of the crisis continuum, 2) governance, financing, and accountability, 3) examples of collaboration with law enforcement and other community partners, and 4) strategies for using data to drive continuous system improvement.

Watch the recording and access resources for this webinar here.


Designing and Implementing Ideal Behavioral Health Crisis Systems

March 30, 2020  
Presenter: Ken Minkoff, MD

Communities are increasingly recognizing that people in behavioral health crisis have diverse and complex needs, and that simply creating a single crisis response program does not meet those needs successfully. Further, it is clear that lack of effective crisis response is likely to lead to inappropriate arrests and incarceration, ER boarding, increased suicide rates, and - most tragically - painful challenges for individuals and families attempting to get help. For that reason, in the past few years, the national conversation has turned to looking at the need for comprehensive and effective BH crisis SYSTEMS to serve the needs of communities (of all types) across the nation. Such systems should be viewed as Essential Community Services (like EMS and fire) that are responsive to everyone and "owned" and accountable to the community as a whole. The Group for Advancement of Psychiatry Committee on Psychiatry and the Community (Dr. Minkoff is co-chair, and Dr. Flaum and Balfour are among the members) has worked for the past four years to put together a nearly completed documented outlining in detail the essential elements and measurable criteria for such a system, and steps for any community to make progress in achieving it. This presentation illustrates the major components of such a system, including Accountability and Funding; Comprehensive Array of Components; and Essential Best Practices. 

Watch the recording and access resources for this webinar here.


Implementing New Crisis Services: The View from the Ground Up

April 15, 2020   
Presenter: Michael Flaum, MD

This presentation describes the real-world experience of one community in a rural state (Iowa) in enhancing their crisis services. It is meant to complement the two prior webinars in this series, the first of which described a large and relatively resource-rich crisis system that has been up and running for some time, and the second describing what an ideal crisis system might look like. This webinar will be more of a case study of one community’s process of expanding their crisis services, highlighting some of the successes and how those were navigated, as well as some ongoing challenges.

Watch the recording and access resources for this webinar here.