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Being a Good Partner to Law Enforcement: Strategies for Crisis Providers

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 8/1/2019

Expiration Date: 12/31/2021

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5



Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis are at increased risk for contact with law enforcement, often with tragic consequences. While programs like Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) provide law enforcement with tools to respond to individuals in crisis, these interventions are focused on the point emergency response. This course describes strategies mental health providers and law enforcement to collaborate on innovative interventions at other points along the crisis continuum, while balancing the interests of compassionate mental healthcare and public safety. Dr. Margie Balfour, with Connections Health Solutions, describes how the mental health system collaborates with law enforcement to support the Tucson Model at both the payer and provider level. The Regional Behavioral Health Authority has created performance incentives to facilitate law enforcement collaboration and specialized services such as clinical co-responders partnered with officers in the field. Providers such as the Crisis Response Center tailor clinical and operational practices to facilitate jail diversion via a “no wrong door” approach in which officers can bring individuals for treatment with a 10 minute drop off time and no behavioral acuity exclusion criteria. This course contains examples of individual cases as well as operational successes and failures so that other programs can share in the lessons learned. Presented by Margaret E. Balfour, M.D., Ph.D, University of Arizona.

**This content was captured at the 2018 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.


FREE - $0

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Grant No. 1H79SM080818-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. (effective November 1, 2019)

Learning Objectives

  • Interpret the reasons why people with mental illness are overrpresented in the criminal justice system
  • Identify ways in which law enforcement and behavioral health systems can work together to help people with behavioral health needs before and after an emergency response to a crisis
  • Discuss ways in which behavioral health systems can tailor their clinical and business processes to support law enforcement and first responders

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Residents/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: August 1, 2019
End Date: December 31, 2021

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Margaret Balfour, M.D., Associate Profession, Psychiatry, The University of Arizona Health Sciences College of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Director, District Branch and International Relations, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Lisa Diener, Director, Membership and Member Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.  

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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