NAMI Ask The Expert — Help, Not Handcuffs
Part 3: Additional Community Models
April 22, 2021, 4 – 5:30 p.m. ET
In part three of our webinar series, experts from Georgia’s Behavioral Health Link and Arizona’s Connections Health Solutions will provide overviews of two models of community crisis response that have proven effective.
Following the presentations, NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth will lead a guided discussion and Q&A with our panel of experts.
Read the Transcript
Dr. Margie Balfour is a psychiatrist and national leader in quality improvement and behavioral health crisis care. She is Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation at Connections Health Solutions, which provides immediate 24/7 access to mental health and substance use care, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Balfour was named Doctor of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health for her work at the Crisis Response Center in Tucson and received the Tucson Police Department’s medal of honor for helping law enforcement better serve people living with mental illness. She contributes to expert panels for SAMHSA and the Department of Justice. Her pioneering work on crisis metrics has been adopted as a national standard, and she co-authored Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System: Essential Elements, Measurable Standards, and Best Practices.
Dr. Balfour is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves on the Quality-of-Care Council. A native of Monroe, LA, she earned a B.A. in Biology at Johns Hopkins University followed by her M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati. She completed residency and fellowship in Community Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Sue Ann O’Brien is a senior executive with BHL and RI International, leading contributors to the development of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Crisis Now exceptional practice standards in crisis care. Together, these two teams deliver a full continuum of best practice crisis services, powered by customized software and technology solutions and real-time access to mental health and substance use services; diverting thousands from hospital EDs and justice systems to care in communities throughout the U.S.
As CEO of BHL, Sue Ann leads a team of visionary crisis innovators whose breakthrough technology and crisis services have been featured worldwide. Recognized for innovation by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Council of State Governments, Harvard University and others, BHL operates Georgia’s statewide Crisis and Access Line; offering the nation’s broadest application of advanced crisis call center technology through their Care Traffic Control system. BHL also delivers and/or deploys 24/7 community-based mobile crisis in all 159 Georgia counties.
Part 1: The Definition of Insanity Documentary & Panel Discussion — Thursday, February 25, 2021
This first webinar of the series will feature The Definition of Insanity, a PBS documentary about the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project, a team of dedicated public servants working through the courts to redirect people living with mental illness from incarceration to recovery. A guided panel discussion and Q&A will follow.
Part 2: Legislation & Community Models — Thursday, March 25, 2021
This webinar will provide an overview of 988 legislation and the next steps at the federal and state levels. The overview will be followed by the first in a series of presentations of different models of community crisis response.
Part 3: Additional Community Models — Thursday, April 22, 2021
This webinar will provide an overview of two additional models of crisis response that have proven effective across the country.
Part 4: Implementing a New System — Thursday, May 20, 2021
This webinar will provide an overview of the crisis model being developed/implemented in Louisiana and will offer background on how to begin local implementation of a new crisis system.
We’re always accepting submissions to the NAMI Blog! We feature the latest research, stories of recovery, ways to end stigma and strategies for living well with mental illness. Most importantly: We feature your voices.
Check out our Submission Guidelines for more information.
Call the NAMI Helpline at
text "NAMI" to 741741
Find Your Local NAMI