Johns Hopkins Takes New Approach to Addressing Behavioral Health Crises On, Near Campus


Johns Hopkins today announced the official pilot launch of the Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team, or BHCST, a mobile co-responder program that pairs clinicians with specially trained public safety personnel to respond to behavioral health crises. This new team will help the university meet its commitment to providing quality and equitable behavioral health crisis services on its campuses and in surrounding communities.

In this first phase, the Crisis Clinician team began serving the Homewood campus this fall on a pilot basis and will gradually expand to a 24/7 service that covers the other campuses of the university in Baltimore. BHCST clinicians now work in designated teams alongside specially trained public safety officers to conduct field assessments, triage and defuse behavioral health-related calls, and coordinate the management of follow-up cases, among other services.

“We very much hope that this new approach will respond to the present moment on our campus and nationally by prioritizing access to behavioral health care for all.”

Branville Bard and Kevin Shollenberger

“Today’s announcement is a celebration of the power of the community to take an active role in overhauling what behavioral health support looks like and leveraging academic resources to realize this collective vision. Bard of Branville, vice-president for public security, and Kevin shollenberger, vice-president of student health and wellness, wrote in a message to the Hopkins community today. “As we seek to improve behavioral health crisis services at Johns Hopkins, we sincerely hope that this new approach will meet the present moment on our campus and nationally by prioritizing access to health care. behavioral for all. “

The three new clinical staff bring Hopkins experience in crisis counseling, de-escalation and mobile crisis response. During their first month, they took an in-depth orientation, which included trainings on diversity, equity and inclusion, introductions to JHU programs, and meetings with organizations representing JHU’s neighbors. Clinicians also participated in collaborative training, alongside their public safety counterparts, which included a Trust Trauma Workshop that explored the ways trauma presents itself in their work and how to use those experiences to create mutual trust within the communities they serve.

In addition, public safety officers participated in training this summer focused on LGBT + language and pronouns, crisis de-escalation, addressing implicit bias, and adapting responses to provide care to trauma survivors. , homeless people and people with disabilities. The training sessions were led by leaders from Baltimore who designed their study programs in the context of serving those who live and study here. Future workshops are being planned.

Bard and Shollenberger said they hope to move to phase two of the pilot program soon, which will include adding new members to the team and introducing a dedicated phone number where individuals can reach BHCST directly. .

More information on the BHCST and its pilot program is available on university public security and well-being websites.


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