In December 2020, LSF Health Systems (LSFHS) was awarded a technical assistance grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Gather, Assess, Integrate, Network, Stimulate (GAINS) Center under the Communities of Practice – Building a Competent Crisis Care System at Intercepts 0-1 (Communities of Practice) program. The GAINS Center’s Communities of Practice (CoP) are designed to enhance knowledge and familiarity of key issues, help individuals understand promising, best, and evidence-based practices, and assist teams in developing strategic plans that focus on measurable outcomes. CoP activities help increase participants’ understanding of the challenges and lessons learned in implementing effective strategies through peer-to-peer sharing via virtual convenings, monthly collaborative calls, and other virtual mechanisms.
This non-monetary award provides an opportunity for LSF Health Systems and its partners to refine the Co-Responder model in Alachua and Duval Counties, and utilize best practices and lessons learned to replicate the model throughout the region. “I am so proud of the outstanding diversion results that our Duval and Alachua teams have accomplished. We value our partnerships with the law enforcement agencies and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare and Mental Health Resource Center, who have made this model a huge success,” said Dr. Christine Cauffield, CEO of LSF Health Systems. The Co-Responder teams are an integral part of each community’s crisis care system working in partnership with 911, crisis lines, and mobile crisis response teams to provide community alternatives to jail, emergency departments and inpatient dispositions. LSFHS has invited various community stakeholders to participate in the CoP with the GAINS Center including law enforcement, behavioral health providers, housing agency directors, peer-based recovery support services, 911 call takers and mental health crisis call centers.
“We look forward to sharing best practices from our Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Co-Responder Program, as well as our Co-Responder Programs with the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office,” says Lauren Pilkinton, Adult System of Care Manager with LSF Health Systems. “We also look forward to hearing from SAMHSA subject matter experts about ways that we can improve our Co-Responder programs.”
The CoP activities will be held between January and August 2021 and include consultation with subject matter experts, opportunities to learn from other communities around the country, and community planning meetings. The goal of the CoP is to create a community-wide strategic plan to remove the burden of care from emergency departments, inpatient utilization centers, and jails for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.