Apply Now to Join the Crisis System Enhancements Community of Practice

March 29, 2022

********This application deadline has passed********

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is hosting a virtual Community of Practice focused on best practices for establishing a comprehensive and coordinated behavioral health crisis system. This Community of Practice serves as a follow-up to the Taking the Call national conference, which explored how innovative community responder programs respond to calls involving behavioral health crises, homelessness, “quality-of-life” issues, and more. This Community of Practice will encourage community leaders to develop crisis responses within a larger comprehensive, coordinated system, informed by local crisis data, and led by a diverse group of community stakeholders. CSG Justice center policy staff will lead the Community of Practice with featured presentations from subject matter experts and peer sites. Participants will have opportunities for mutual learning and dialogue and will receive guidance on how to adapt best practices to their current crisis system.

Upon completion of the Community of Practice, participating teams will be equipped with strategies they can use in their own communities to decrease siloed crisis responses. They will also have information to help them build a coordinated crisis system that aims to reduce crisis calls and reliance on justice system responses.


  • May 17, 2022
  • June 21, 2022
  • July 19, 2022
  • August 16, 2022

All sessions will take place 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET via Zoom web meeting.

Jurisdictions that are interested in participating should submit this application by April 13, 2022. A CSG Justice Center staff member will follow up with you by April 29, 2022.

If you have any questions, contact Felicia Lopez Wright at

Who should apply?

This Community of Practice is best suited for community leaders who have at least established planning teams for a cross-system partnership among behavioral health agencies, law enforcement agencies (and other first responders), dispatch centers, and community-based organizations. This planning team should also have a designated coordinator. It is strongly recommended that participants have access to relevant behavioral health crisis call data.

Who should participate?

We require each planning team to be prepared to participate as an interdisciplinary team comprising the following representatives: (1) project lead in charge of coordinating crisis system enhancements; (2) staff from a community-based behavioral health treatment provider; (3) law enforcement representative; and (4) staff with access to data on crisis calls (if available). Six team members at most may actively participate in each session; however, additional team members may join to listen in. The suggested attendees will vary for each session, with the exception of team leaders/project coordinators, who are advised to attend all sessions. Participating teams will coordinate with the CSG Justice Center to determine the appropriate combination of attendees for each session.

What will the sessions cover?

Session 1 will introduce the Community of Practice goals, expectations, and participating teams. This session will discuss the importance of building a diverse stakeholder group including representation from impacted communities (i.e., people with lived experiences in the criminal justice and behavioral health systems and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) to build trust and incorporate the community voice within the decision-making process. Teams will learn about the benefits of conducting system mapping to inventory their existing crisis system to identify assets and needs.


Session 2 will review key metrics in collecting data on behavioral health crisis calls and measuring outcomes related to connections to care. Participants will learn about the various ways these data can be acquired and how to establish the necessary information-sharing protocols among relevant partners. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their local Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) management, emergency call coding, and data collection methods via virtual breakout rooms. The new 988 crisis response system will be incorporated into this discussion.


Session 3 will include a discussion on how to use data to complete a prioritization process that identifies which crisis system enhancement would have the most significant impact on coordinated crisis responses, decrease siloes, and address service gaps. This session will also focus on ways to build a continuum of responses through prioritization of straightforward policy changes that enhance existing service delivery and coordination. It will also feature discussion on how to collaborate on long-term plans for developing larger investment crisis services.


Session 4 will conclude the Community of Practice with considerations for how teams can utilize performance measures and evaluation plans to support near and long-term sustenance of their crisis system and crisis response interventions. Teams will learn how tracking progress and regular program assessments can support future funding opportunities for expansion of existing interventions or the implementation of additional response models.


© jodie covington/Unsplash

About the author

Felicia Lopez Wright
Project Manager, Behavioral Health
Felicia Lopez Wright oversees training and technical assistance for Second Chance Act Crisis Response and Community Reentry grantees. She also contributes to projects on topics such as gender-responsive services for women in the justice system and enhancing crisis and justice
system collaborations. Felicia previously provided training and technical assistance under the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. Felicia is a licensed clinical social worker with over a decade of combined experience providing mental health therapy to demographically diverse populations in various care settings, special education case management in a public school district, and short-term counseling at a community court program. She earned a BA in psychology from The College of New Jersey and an MSW from Rutgers University. 
Read More
  • You might also be interested in