Co-Responder Teams

Highlighted Resource

Responding to Individuals in Behavioral Health Crisis Via Co-Responder Models 

Produced By: National League of Cities (NLC); Policy Research Inc. (PRI)

Supported By: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Description: Co-responder models vary in practice, but generally involve law enforcement and clinicians working together in response to calls for service involving a person experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This resource details various co-responder models available to city and county leaders and includes site examples. 

Keywords: co-responder model; mental health; behavioral health; collaboration

Developing and Implementing Your Co-Responder Program (2021)

Produced By: Council of State Governments Justice Center

Supported By: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Description: Many law enforcement agencies are beginning to seek out alternatives to arrest or hospitalization to position their officers for success in mental health calls and to help ensure best outcomes for the people in need. One growing approach is by pairing health care professionals with law enforcement officers to respond to these calls through police-mental health collaboration response models known as Co-Responder Teams. This two-page brief describes the basic components of co-responder programs and offers 4 practical tips to start and successfully implement your own.

Keywords: crisis response; mental health; co-responder teams

Other Resources

CIT International Embedded Co-Response Position Paper (2021)

Produced By: CIT International

Description: This resource discusses CIT International's position on the embedded co-responder model. They recommend law enforcement should only be engaged in situations where there is a clear threat to public safety. 

Keywords: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT); co-responder model

Indianapolis, Indiana: Enhancing Emergency Response Through a Mobile Crisis Assistance Team

Produced By: National League of Cities

Supported By: Arnold Ventures

Description: Indianapolis has developed a number of innovative programs that target the challenges of substance use disorders, homelessness, and mental health issues. This case study will focus on Mobile Crisis Assistance Team-Behavioral Health Units (MCAT-BHU) and present key takeaways for other cities considering similar cross-systems approaches.

Keywords: Mobile crisis assistance team (MCAT); behavioral health unit (BHU); emergency response; homelessness; mental health; substance use; co-responder team

Fort Collins: Police Force Using Specialized Training in Mental Health

Produced By: National League of Cities

Description: Fort Collins has developed a number of innovative programs that target the intersecting challenges of substance use disorder (SUD), homelessness and mental health issues. This case study focuses on the Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) mental health co-responder program and presents key takeaways for cities and counties considering similar initiatives.

Keywords: emergency response; co-responder model; substance use; mental health

Mental Health and Criminal Justice Case Study: Johnson County, Kan.

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: This case study describes the planning process for Johnson County (KS) to reduce the number of people with mental health conditions involved in the criminal justice system. It also describes programs and practices implemented in Johnson County, including a co-responder program, a crisis stabilization center, and a Justice Information Management System. 

Keywords: co-responder program; crisis stabilization center; strategic planning

Multi-Disciplinary Response Teams: Transforming Emergency Mental Health Response in Texas (2021)

Produced By: Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Supported By: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Description: This paper provides a discussion of the elements of Multi-Disciplinary Response Team (MDRT) being implemented in Texas, using as an example the implementation in Dallas of the Rapid Integrated Group Healthcare Team (RIGHT Care). MDRT is based on a community paramedicine approach that brings together paramedics, licensed mental health professionals, and specialized law enforcement officers within an integrated team with unique potential to transform the response to mental health emergencies through the 911 system from one that relies on either law enforcement or civilians, to one that can address mental health and broader health care and social needs while assuring public safety.

Keywords: Co-responder; multi-disciplinary team

Jail Diversion Clinician Job Description, Arlington Police Department 

Produced By: Arlington Police Department

Description: This resource is a job description for a Jail Diversion Clinician - Co-Response Model. It provides information on minimum qualifications and responsibilities. 

Keywords: Co-responder program; clinician job description

Johnson County Mental Health and City of Overland Park Co-Responder Program Vehicle Use Agreement

Produced By: Johnson County

Description: This resource is a sample vehicle use agreement between Johnson County Mental Health and the City of Overland Park for their co-responder program. 

Keywords: Co-responder program, vehicle use agreement

Co-Responding Police and Mental Health Team Reduces Likelihood of Arrest (2021)

Produced By: Treatment Advocacy Center

Description: A new study published in Psychiatric Services examined the effects of a co-response team on mental health and criminal justice outcomes for individuals compared to those who only received a response from the police. The study found that the presence of a co-response team reduced the likelihood of arrest at the crisis incident but resulted in a higher likelihood of future involvement with emergency medical services in the following year.

Keywords: co-responder team; Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)