Help Not Handcuffs: Legislation & Community Models

MAR. 10, 2021

Help Not Handcuffs

A webinar series focused on addressing mental health crises with comprehensive community responses

NAMI Ask The Expert — Help, Not Handcuffs
Part 2: Legislation & Community Models

March 25, 2021, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET

In part two of our webinar series, experts will provide an overview of 988 legislation and an additional model of community crisis response, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), developed by the White Bird Clinic in Oregon.

The 988 initiative aims to implement a three-digit national call number for mental health crises to divert people in crisis from unnecessary interaction with law enforcement. Experts from NAMI’s Advocacy and Public Policy team, Angela Kimball and Hannah Wesolowski, will provide information on the history, funding, and prospective implementation of the system, including next steps at both the federal and state levels.

Following the legislative overview, CAHOOTS Program Coordinator Ebony Morgan will present on the White Bird Clinic’s model, which provides 24/7 mobile crisis intervention in the cities of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. CAHOOTS is designed to connect people in crisis with trained crisis intervention workers and medical personnel as an alternative to law enforcement when appropriate. This webinar will discuss what the CAHOOTS model is, how it functions, and what it really means to connect people experiencing a mental health crisis with responders trained in that field.

Following 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

Read the FAQ

Our Experts


Angela Kimball, National Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, NAMI
Angela Kimball is the National Director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. She is one of the country’s foremost advocates for individuals and families affected by mental health conditions. In her role, she strives to unify the mental health community in advocating for shared priorities that improve the lives of all people with mental health conditions. For Angela, this fight is personal. Her motto is “trying hard isn’t good enough when lives are at stake — you have to fight to win.”
Hannah Wesolowski, Director of Field Advocacy, NAMI
Hannah Wesolowski directs NAMI’s advocacy strategy, working with NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates to identify and cultivate advocacy leaders and provide resources to help advocates promote NAMI policy priorities. Prior to working at NAMI, Hannah worked at the Public Affairs Council, providing support to leading associations and nonprofit groups to build grassroots advocacy programs. She also previously led political advocacy efforts at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and developed engagement efforts at the American Institute of Architects. She proudly brings her experience in capacity-building and advocate development to NAMI to help give people with mental illness and their families a voice in the legislative process.
Ebony Morgan, Program Coordinator, CAHOOTS
Ebony Morgan is the Program Coordinator for CAHOOTS, Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets, and a registered nurse, driven by a passion for addressing the effects of socioeconomic inequalities and structural racism on public health and safety.


NAMI Ask the Expert: Help Not Handcuffs Series


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.

View Recording

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.

View Recording
emergency 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.

View the Recording

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.

View the Recording