Crisis Now Academy
Most communities defer to law enforcement and hospitals for most people in a psychiatric emergency. The Crisis Now Academy think tank supports the creation of next-level solutions to a multitude of mental health, substance use, IDD and/or suicidal crises systems challenges. Our national thought leaders create videos, tools and products, many of which we’ve shared open source in the public domain (CrisisNow.com) and we host 988 and Crisis Learning Community video calls.
Our team from RI International and Behavioral Health Link stand ready with more intensive support, consultation and training offerings. These can be as limited as a few hours of phone consultation to support the creation of options around a particular issue to a full scale system redesign that can support any community. We’ve worked at the Federal, State, County and City levels in the US and abroad. 988 has offered a once in a lifetime chance to transform behavioral health crisis care and change is within our reach.
“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets."
-Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Consultants and Faculty
Architects of Crisis Now, SAMHSA’S National Guidelines and Zero Suicide
Senior Consulting Team
Nationwide Mental Health Crisis Number to Change How the Us Approaches Suicide Prevention
(Claire Hardwick, USA TODAY, May 13, 2022) The goal of 988 is comprehensive crisis care where medical attention or law enforcement is not needed in the vast majority of situations.
Why Colorado's Inventive Plan to Create an Emergency Mental Health Care System Failed
(Ben Markus, NPR, July 20, 2020) Ten years ago when 12 people died in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., leaders promised mental health system reforms. But Markus believes established providers fought to maintain the status quo..
'Arizona model' for behavioral health crisis care gains attention from other states
(Christine Vestal, Stateline, February 21, 2020, published in AZCentral) Police officers deliver patients who are having a psychiatric crisis directly to the Crisis Recovery Center in Peoria, Arizona. Nationwide, other states are emulating the crisis response model developed in Arizona.
New Suicide Prevention Number Could Lead to Surge in Calls
(Christine Vestal, Stateline, December 20, 2019) Brian Anderson, a peer support administrator at the Georgia Crisis and Access Line, in downtown Atlanta. The U.S. suicide rate increased by a third from 1999 to 2017. The Pew Charitable Trusts
3-Digit Hotline Aims To Assist In Suicide Prevention
(NPR, Rhitu Chatterjee, September 13, 2019) So would a three-digit number help those in crisis more than a 10-digit one? It's a question on the mind of the federal agency that wants to start a new three-digit hotline for people feeling suicidal or going through any other mental health crisis.
When someone is thinking of suicide, these are the people who talk them out of it
(CNN, Doug Criss, September 10, 2018) Nestled in a downtown Atlanta high-rise, the call center for the Georgia Crisis & Access Line hosts the staff of Behavioral Health Link, a crisis services company, contracted by the state of Georgia. When a person calls 1-800-715-4225 from anywhere in the state, the folks here answer -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tom Betlach, Speire Healthcare Strategies, Testifies before US Senate Committee on Finance,
“Mental Health Care in America: Addressing Root Causes and Identifying Policy Solutions” (June 15, 2021)
Tonja Myles, Certified Peer Support Specialist, Community Liaison, The Bridge Center for Hope, RI International Testifies before Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies,
“Mental Health Emergencies: Building a Robust Crisis Response System“ (May 13, 2021)
Joy Brunson-Nsubuga, VP Southeast RI International, and Tonja Myles Testify for National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Briefing Series,
"Action Needed: Tackling the Nation's Mental Health Crisis" addressing how 988 and crisis services will transform care.
Sue Ann Atkerson, CEO of Behavioral Health Link, Testifies Before Congress on 988
(Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, February 27, 2020)
David Covington, CEO & President RI International, Testifies at Briefing with US Representatives Chris Stewart and Seth Moulton,
“988: How a 3-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline Can Transform Access to Mental Health Care” (Capitol Visitors Center Congressional Meeting Room South, October 30, 2019)
David Covington Appointed to Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC),
Publishing the Way Forward Report to Congress (December 2017)
David Covington, CEO & President RI International, Testifies at Transforming Crisis Mental Health Care Briefing,
a bipartisan event co-hosted by Reps. Grace Napolitano and John Katko in coordination with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (May 26, 2017)
Other Crisis Industry Impact
Paul Galdys, Deputy CEO at RI International, Lead Author for the SAMHSA National Guidelines for Behavioral Health Crisis Care: A Best Practice Toolkit,
Crisis Services: Meeting Needs, Saving Lives Compendium (February 24, 2020)
David Covington speaks at International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Summit, Washington, DC,
“Crisis Now: The Human and Business Case for Building a Comprehensive Crisis Services System” (September 12, 2019)