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How #CrisisTalk is Transforming Dialogue in Behavioral Health

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA, May 7, 2019 / -- May 7, 2019 – The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and its Crisis Now partners have launched the #CrisisTalk website, sparking much-needed dialogue on behavioral health crises. The new publication provides a platform for diverse experts and people with Lived Experience to exchange thoughts, knowledge, and innovations. Each article shares a person’s perspective, whether that’s an emergency department doctor who tells her story, revealing the challenges emergency physicians experience when faced with a patient in crisis, or a student who was having suicidal ideation and his university chose legal self-protection over doing what was best for him.

The objective says Brian Hepburn, Executive Director of NASMHPD, the lead organization for Crisis Now, is to facilitate conversations about mental health crises, including missed opportunities, gaps, tools, and best practices. “#CrisisTalk is sharing the diverse stories of people affected by behavioral health crises, including those who have experienced one, loved ones, and stakeholders who need to be part of the conversation, swinging the pendulum worldwide toward awareness and change.”

#CrisisTalk interviews include the lens of mental health experts and first responders. They point out common misconceptions and challenges in their fields and the communities they serve. This includes why some don’t develop a full continuum of crisis care services. Retired police officer, Nick Margiotta, says smaller towns don’t believe they have the infrastructure to do so. “They can start small with a two-person unit that does mobile crisis part-time. It’s a jumping off point that’s low-cost and low-risk.” These discussions transcend geography and illustrate ways to make positive changes in the crisis space, including, says Melinda Moore, Ph.D., co-lead of the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Faith Communities Task Force, simply having a conversation with a person in crisis. “A non-judgmental, empathic approach, along with a willingness to listen and sit with someone can go a long way.”

David Covington, CEO & President of RI International, believes the time is right for #CrisisTalk. “Our country is finally contemplating a 911 for the brain and grappling with the significant challenge of psychiatric boarding in hospital emergency departments. Change is coming.”

#CrisisTalk is part of, a roadmap to safe, effective crisis care that diverts people in distress from the emergency department and jail by developing a continuum of crisis care services that match people’s clinical needs to care.

To learn more, visit

Crisis Now Partners:
About the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
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, and serves as the lead for

About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Vibrant Emotional Health
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 Vibrant Emotional Health, 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. | |

About the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and EDC, Inc.
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. Administered by EDC, Inc., the Action Alliance was the catalyst for the Zero Suicide Healthcare and Crisis Now: Transforming Services innovations. | |

About the National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health () is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with their 3,000 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and have trained more than 1.5 million Americans. | |

About RI International (d/b/a for Recovery Innovations, Inc.)
RI is a global organization that offers more than 50 programs throughout the United States and abroad, characterized by recovery and a focus on what’s strong, not what’s wrong. More than 50% of employees report a lived experience with mental health, and the “Fusion Model” crisis stabilization programs are featured in Crisis Now. The Company also provides training and consulting internationally and supports Zero Suicide International, a partnership with Behavioral Health Link. | |

Karen Jones
RI International
+1 252-772-2238
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