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Improving Police and Mental Health Partnerships for Youth in Crisis

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Law enforcement often respond to youth experiencing behavioral health crises as first responders to provide connections to emergency care. Unfortunately, law enforcement-only responses to youth in crisis can result in higher risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system and traumatization. Though trainings for law enforcement agencies on behavioral health crisis responses and trauma-informed care are increasing, many of them are not properly trained or do not have the resources available to effectively respond to the needs of youth in crisis. Therefore, the law enforcement and behavioral health systems must partner to provide youth connections to crisis care via a single point of access to decrease officer involvement and time on the scene.

During this webinar, participants will learn about New Jersey’s Mobile Response and Stabilization Services (MRSS) program, which connects families anywhere in the state to a behavioral health worker at any time to provide immediate support for youth in behavioral health crisis. Participants will also hear about Atlantic City Police Department’s collaborative partnership and experiences with connecting youth and families to MRSS during calls for service. There will be a question-and-answer period for jurisdictions that might be considering a police-mental health collaboration.


  • Felicia Lopez Wright, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center
  • Jazmone Wilkerson, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center
  • Elizabeth Manley, Senior Advisor for Health and Behavioral Policy, Innovations Institute, University of Connecticut School of Social Work
  • Sergeant Brian D. Shapiro, Atlantic City Police Department

Date Created: June 28, 2023