Ready to Respond: Mental Health Beyond Crisis and COVID-19

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is pleased to release ongoing resources to help mental health system leaders and providers deliver needed support services and establish integrated programs that continue to build out a robust mental health continuum of care.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the pre-pandemic rising suicide rates, the opioid crisis and numerous challenges in meeting demands for mental health services across the country, the 2021 Compendium of Ready to Respond: Mental Health Beyond Crisis and COVID-19, comes at a critical time. With the impact of COVID-19 still front and center, and the planning for a system involving a 988-crisis response, there is much work ahead.

Of course, transitioning to 988 is more than just creating an easier access point to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, it is an opportunity for transformative change in our nation’s behavioral health crisis system. This crisis care is addressed in the following chapters in the Compendium:

  • Suicide Prevention and 988: Before During and After COVID-19
  • Law Enforcement and Crisis Services: Past Lessons for New Partnerships and the future of 988
  • Strategies and Considerations for Providing a More Equitable Crisis Continuum for People of Color in the United States
  • Funding Opportunities for Expanding Crisis Stabilization Systems and Services
  • Technology’s Acceleration in Behavioral Health: COVID, 988, Social Media, Treatment and More
  • Using Data to Manage State and Local-level Mental Health Crisis Services

As the federal agency charged with reducing the impact of substance use and mental illness on America’s communities, SAMHSA is grateful to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and all the contributors who helped shape this important overview and looks forward to the shared work to ensure the service system is prepared to respond and save lives by serving anyone, at any time, from anywhere across the nation.


Read the Compendium (PDF)