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Crisis Response for Rural Communities

Updated: Apr 15

September 16, 2020

Rural communities can face many challenges when developing and delivering crisis response programs for people with behavioral health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities, including wide geographic areas to serve, limitations in options for local treatment and social services, and resource constraints related to funding and staffing. Across the United States, rural communities have adapted most promising practices in crisis response to overcome these challenges and address the need for services in their jurisdictions by having mental health providers meet people in crisis where they are, either in-person or through telehealth services. These programs can prevent the need for additional resources, such as police and emergency medical services, to respond to individuals in crisis and may enhance short- and long-term outcomes for these individuals. Presented by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance's Academic Training to Inform Police Responses Initiative, this webinar featured two programs that have adapted crisis response for use in rural communities. Panelists presented the innovative approaches in crisis response implemented by their programs and discussed the challenges of ensuring the needs of individuals in crisis who live in rural communities are met. Additionally, the Academic Training project team highlighted key resources to support rural communities developing and implementing crisis response in their jurisdiction.



Larry Smith, CPRSS

Grand Lake Mental Health Center

​Josh Cantwell, LCSW

Grand Lake Mental Health Center


​Kasey Parker

Mental Health Association of Nebraska

​Captain Mike Woolman

Lincoln (NE) Police Department

​A Unique Partnership of People with Lived Experiences, Law Enforcement, and Community Partners


Webinar Recording


Downloadable Materials

Rural Crisis Response Transcript
Download DOCX • 48KB
Rural Crisis Response Slides
Download PDF • 7.06MB


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