Law enforcement by default is tasked with the responsibility of dealing with mental health emergencies on top of the profession’s challenges when it comes to funding, staffing, and other resources. With this in mind, different models are being implemented to ease the burden placed on law enforcement and employ more appropriate solutions and interventions to these mental health crises. This session provides guidance on how to design an effective crisis response program based on a continuum ecosystem framework.
Leading the discussion is BJ Wagner from the Meadows Institute. There she works in efforts in health and public safety through multifaceted law enforcement and first responder projects focused on mental health emergency response.
Specifics of this webinar covered:
- How “either-or” crisis response models are withholding options to people who need it which alludes to the value of an “and” approach.
- Defining terminologies of some of the common concepts central in crisis response.
- Agencies’ tendency to develop a crisis response approach that is tailored to the agencies’ capabilities instead of the need to effectively resolve and eliminate the emergency cycle.
- The three critical components of crisis response with ideas and steps to supercharge it into the ideal system that truly addresses the root of the issue holistically through wraparound services.
- Four top points to remember in any kind of ecosystem design that looks into on-scene integrated care, alternative response, “and” not or, and an ecosystem of care.
- The main mission of the “and” approach where there is a right response for any call for service that comes through.
- The difference between how a civilian-only team and a public safety team look like and operate, and the similarities of the services they render catered to different clientele.
- The benefits of having a civilian response to law enforcement workload.
- A glimpse into existing crisis response programs being utilized in different parts of the country and the limits and scope of their work.
- How a non-integrated civilian and public safety crisis response system is costing the nation as a whole in terms of line-of-duty deaths, suicides, and resource allocation.
- The importance of making the community part of the ecosystem of care to truly provide the needed response, prevention, and intervention efforts to those who need it the most.
- Factors to take into account when designing a civilian and public safety response program that looks into policies, protocols, logistics, agreements, roles, communication, data-sharing, coordination, and safety.
- Key points to consider surrounding race issues, resource allocation, and no wrong door for an effective civilian and public safety response program development.
- How the city of Austin leveraged an integrated civilian and public safety response from the first point of contact in the 911 call and its positive outcomes.
- The Multi-Disciplinary Response Team (MDRT) model, its characteristics, team members and their roles, the critical data captured by the behavioral health clinician, and the outcomes for the person in a mental health crisis.
- The mission-critical components that must be present in the ecosystem of an effective crisis response program that ensures everyone is equipped to effectively address the needs of the person in crisis.
- A rundown of some of the metrics captured and used to measure outcomes and success of a crisis response program.
Questions from the audience are about:
- Having a civilian-only team responding to a mental health crisis call that poses risks that require law enforcement.
- How culture creates stigma and obstacles to effective mental health response.
- A continuum of care-based model for smaller rural communities.
- The decision-making of the call taker to determine the type of team to be sent to a call for service.
- Finding mental health professionals to fill in the demand for mental health-related calls.
- The need for victim services involvement in mental health emergencies.
- HIPAA considerations for the agencies involved throughout the continuum of care.
- Clinicians’ role in domestic violence cases.
Webinars with this Speaker
- June 23: Creating a Continuum Ecosystem of Crisis Response (this webinar)
- Aug 2: The Fourth Option: Mental Health Services
Resources and Handouts
- Handout: Multi-Disciplinary Response Teams: Transforming Emergency Mental Health Response in Texas
- Link: “We Had to Work with Partners to Help Them See Mental Health as a Medical Need” (Pew Charitable Trust)
- “The potential to incorporate Mental Health Emergency as the fourth pillar of EMS (Fire, Police, Ambulance are current pillars). The topic was well presented and gave new information as well.” — Wynford
- “This webinar stressed the need for a multidisciplinary approach to mental health calls through the 911 system.” — Stephanie
- “Great overview of what is needed. …” — Laura
- “All of it! This was a great webinar and BJ was a great trainer. Thank you!” — Jennifer