Crisis Now: Transforming Crisis Services


After reviewing approaches to crisis care across the United States, the Crisis Services Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) believes now is the time for crisis care to change. The Task Force, established to advance objective 8.2 of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), comprises many experts, including leaders who have built and operate many of the most acclaimed crisis programs in the nation.

After reviewing the literature and model programs, these leaders built the Crisis Now report to suggest what can be done, galvanize interest, and provide a road map for change. Our comprehensive review finds that now is the time for crisis services to expand because of a confluence of factors and forces, including:


The Task Force has studied elements of successful programs and reviewed their effectiveness. While some communities are crisis-ready, there are very few communities where all key elements of crisis care are in place, and many where even the “parts” of crisis care that exist are inadequate. In short, core elements of crisis care include:

  1. Regional or statewide crisis call centers coordinating in real time
  2. Centrally deployed, 24/7 mobile crisis
  3. Short-term, “sub-acute” residential crisis stabilization programs
  4. Essential crisis care principles and practices
  5. Develop and implement protocols for delivering services for individuals with suicide risk in the most collaborative, responsive, and least restrictive setting
These elements are discussed in more detail in the report (download here). Effective crisis care that saves lives and dollars requires a systemic approach, and these key elements must be in place. The report also reviews proven key components of good crisis care and demonstrates that piecemeal solutions are unacceptable.

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