Monday, August 02 | Client Success Stories, Human Services, Thought Leadership

Collaborative Approach to Care: North Range Behavioral Health Launches Co-Responder Service

By Tom Herzog, Chief Operating Officer

We are grateful to work with innovative partners each and every day. Our client partners are constantly thinking and rethinking how to better serve their communities through the most effective and personal approach to care. A large part of that innovation strategy is reshaping community ecosystems for better engagement, connection and collaboration. North Range Behavioral Health is doing just that, most recently through the launch of a designated co-responder service that partners with law enforcement to connect individuals in a mental health crisis to the appropriate services and professional support.

Co-responder programs continue to become more widely leveraged across the country, as it’s estimated that two million people with mental illness are incarnated every year. The connection? Often times when a call is made to law enforcement, the individual needs behavioral health services, not necessarily police intervention. In other words, a lot of these individuals don’t need to go to jail; they need proper mental healthcare.  

In order to avoid unnecessary incarceration and emergency department visits, co-responder programs such as North Range’s pair first responders with behavioral health clinicians to help deescalate, assess and assist when law enforcement is called where a behavioral health situation is present.

Collaboration with behavioral health clinicians not only brings the proper support and services to the scene when necessary but offers ongoing support and check-ins that temporary incarceration or an ED visit likely will not include. As part of the Crisis Support Team, North Range co-responders can facilitate follow-up services, offer behavioral health resources and provide local treatment options to the individual in need, in turn helping prevent future run-ins, crisis calls, and potentially saving someone’s life.

It’s about providing the right services, at the right place, at the right time.

“Mental health issues are widespread. It affects our friends, our families, and ourselves,” North Range stated regarding the co-responder program. “We can prevent and ease the effects of many mental health challenges—but only if we respond appropriately to early signs and symptoms.”

Initiatives like the North Range co-responder program are a real-life testament to the importance of engaging with our communities to provide the best, most safe experience for both first responders and those in need.

Adapting and pivoting our approach to care to better fit the needs of our community has a major impact. This kind of collaboration and partnership between law enforcement and behavioral health providers is a cause-driven step toward creating a safer, more connected and understanding environment for all. In order to better serve our communities, including individuals undergoing a behavioral health crisis, we must come together by pooling resources, supporting one another and knowing where and when to ask for help.

“When you or someone you know is struggling or feeling overwhelmed, don’t go it alone,” North Range stated. “Crisis support is available through North Range Behavioral Health all day, every day.”

As we continue to learn forward together, sharing and collaborating on models such as the North Range co-responder program is essential to growth – growth of effective care delivery, growth of mutual respect and understanding, and growth of our communities.

Learn more about co-responder initiatives, including Johnson County Mental Health, who started their crisis response program in 2011, aiming to seek and serve more individuals than ever before. 

If we’re going to be together, we have to figure out to how to live well together. And it starts by connecting our collective resources to help the most vulnerable.

 

 

Meet the Author

Tom Herzog · Chief Operating Officer

Communities

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