Crisis Response Improvement Strategy

In 2021, the Washington legislature created the Crisis Response Improvement Strategy (CRIS) Committee, a Steering Committee of the CRIS, and Subcommittees to develop recommendations related to the funding and delivery of an integrated behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system in Washington. Key recommendation areas to be addressed by the CRIS Committee include: 

  • Vision: vision for Washington’s crisis response and suicide prevention system. 
  • Equity: promotion of equity in services for individuals of diverse circumstances. 
  • Service Goals: quantifiable goals for the provision of statewide and regional behavioral health crisis services and equitable distribution of crisis stabilization services, behavioral health beds, and peer-run respite services.
  • Quality & Oversight: process for establishing measures, targets and system oversight.  
  • Cross System Interactions: complementary roles and interactions for broad range of entities involved in the crisis system.  
  • Workforce: workforce needs, including staff education and training requirements for 988 contact hubs.     
  • Funding/ Cost Estimates: cost estimates for each of the components of the integrated behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system. 
  • Technology: technology and platform needed to manage and operate the behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system.

The legislation directs the Behavioral Health Institute at Harborview Medical Center to facilitate the CRIS and Steering Committee process and ensure timely completion of all deliverables. The BHI has contracted with Health Management Associates to support this work. The Steering Committee is charged to deliver to the Governor and Legislature recommendations through a series of annual reports, with the final report due January 1, 2025.  

Further information regarding the CRIS Committee meetings, reports, and other resources may be found on the CRIS webpage.