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New Website Dedicated to Transforming Mental Health Crisis Systems Launched by NASMHPD

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, April 20, 2018 / -- National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) Executive Director, Dr Brian Hepburn, announced today the creation of a new website dedicated to providing the framework needed to optimize mental health crisis services within communities.

“There is a roadmap to a safe, effective and value-focused mental health crisis system. NASMHPD is proud to be the lead organization in the creation of the website. With the tools and information presented on this website, any community can make improvements to their crisis system and see meaningful results.”

According to Dr. Hepburn, mental health crisis services are an integral part of the health care continuum. A crisis system is only as healthy as its ability to provide timely and effective care for those in need. Challenges in current crisis systems often revolve around access to the right care at the right time. Lack of access frequently leads to an escalation of the crisis that then requires a more costly intervention. These cases tax the crisis system as well as those seeking services.

In order to address these challenges, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention created a task force to advance objective 8.2 of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). The results were Crisis Now: Transforming Services is Within Our Reach. To promote these principals, NASMHPD is partnering with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and RI International.

Co-lead for the Action Alliance Crisis Services Task Force, David Covington said “The website houses resources around the core elements of a sustainable effective crisis system and provides a self-assessment as an important starting point. It offers practical solutions to maximizing care and improving community safety in a sustainable way.”

Dr. John Draper, Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, added, “The website demonstrates a system that diverts people in the midst of a mental health crisis away from the caregivers of last resort, emergency departments and law enforcement to those that can best help. Additionally, the website shows these solutions are being applied now and points to those who have successfully implemented these principles in their communities.”


NASMHPD (, founded in 1959 and based in Alexandria, VA, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) represents the $41 billion public mental health service delivery system serving 7.5 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia. NASMHPD (pronounced "NASH-bid") is the only national association to represent state mental health commissioners/directors and their agencies.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ( provides free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. Funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by the Mental Health Association of New York City, the Lifeline engages in innovative public messaging, development of best practices in mental health, creative partnerships, and more to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (, the public-private partnership working with more than 250 national partners advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention with the vision of a nation free from the tragic experience of suicide and a goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Catalyst for the Zero Suicide in Healthcare and Crisis Now: Transforming Services innovations.

RI International (, a global organization with more than 50 programs throughout the United States and abroad, provides Crisis, Health, Recovery and Consulting services, wherein our values and priorities include: maintaining a recovery culture, ensuring clinical best practices, making safety a priority for all, measuring value and results, optimizing quality and compliance, and serving as a key resource for First Responders.

Brian Hepburn
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National Association of State Mental Health Program Director