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Mobile crisis services

Mental health professionals are available to respond to calls, either on the scene or as a follow up, at the request of law enforcement officers. These professionals can then begin the assessment process, provide acute on-site crisis stabilization, and facilitate connections to needed care and services. Some teams may also respond to requests directly from community members.

For more information on this intervention, see this resource:
Local Examples

Nevada County, CA Partnership between Nevada County Behavioral Health Department and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office

  • The mobile crisis team comprises a licensed crisis worker and a sheriff deputy who act as co-responders. The team can be called out to any 911 call that has a behavioral health component. Working together, their goal is to de-escalate the situation, assess for safety, and connect the person in crisis to services and supports as appropriate.
  • The county currently has two full-time mobile crisis teams that operate 7 days a week.
  • The team is funded with grants received by both the sheriff’s office and the behavioral health department.
  • Anyone in the unincorporated regions of Nevada County is eligible for these services.

For more information on this example, contact Phebe Bell,

Jackson County, OH Hopewell Health Centers

  • The mental health agency, Hopewell Health Centers, operates a 24/7 mobile crisis team to assist regional county jails and law enforcement agencies in responding to people with behavioral health needs.
  • Jail and law enforcement personnel can call the 24/7 crisis line to request on-scene services.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Multnomah County, OR Project Respond

  • The Project Respond Mobile Crisis Teams provide an immediate response to police requests for support within Multnomah County as well as requests originating through the Multnomah County Call Center.
  • The team includes emergency department liaisons, family crisis stabilization specialists, peer wellness specialists, and library crisis services.
  • Clinicians from Project Respond serve as members of the Gresham Police Department, providing follow-up support and services to individuals who have had contact with the police primarily due to mental health needs.
  • Full-time clinicians from Project Respond serve within the Portland Police Bureau's Behavioral Health Unit and partner with Portland police officers to comprise a Behavioral Health Response Team, which provides co-responder follow-up support and connects individuals to appropriate services.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Dallas County, IA

  • A mobile crisis team from Zion Behavioral Health, a local provider, can be sent in an unmarked vehicle to respond to a person in crisis at their home, work, or school.
  • The team is funded through Heart of Iowa Region—and Medicaid when possible—and available 24/7 to the entire region.
  • The team consists of BA-level or higher staff and/or peer support specialists.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Savannah, GA Savannah Police Department

  • The Savannah Police Department Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) includes three primary components:
    • Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team
    • Behavioral Health Response Team
    • Service Coordination
  • The Behavioral Health Response Team receives referrals via email from the BHU commander.
  • Since its inception in 2020, the BHU has assisted more than 160 people.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Whatcom County, WA

  • The Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) is a community-based outreach team with the ability to respond to crises and provide crisis services in the community (for example, homes, schools, shelters). The team serves adults, adolescents, and children who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis regardless of their insurance status.
  • MCOT consists of a team of behavioral health professionals, including mental health professionals, certified peer counselors, and chemical dependency professionals collaborating with the individual in crisis and their family members to develop a plan to get through the current crisis, manage future crises, and move toward recovery.
  • MCOT services are available to anyone who is physically located in Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom Counties and is experiencing a behavioral health crisis or is in a pre-crisis situation that seems to be deteriorating and, without intervention, could result in a behavioral health crisis.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Policy & Practice


1 - Reduce bookings into jail
3 - Increase connection to treatment
4 - Reduce recidivism

Last updated: October 28, 2022