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For Immediate Release: Monday, August 9, 2021

Montgomery County residents are invited to an online conversation about the Crisis Assistance Helping Out on The Streets (CAHOOTS) model for mobile crisis intervention services.

The session is part of a series, Wellness Community Events: Healing and Holding On—One Conversation at a Time for the Community, which is focused on mental health and wellness issues affecting the community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.  The conversation will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

The upcoming online conversation will the CAHOOTS model and how to raise community awareness for mobile crisis response teams. Topics will include use of local media, advocacy, messaging, fostering accountability and transparency, and engaging impacted communities.

Speakers for the event include:

  • Raymond Crowel, director, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Ronaldo Santiago, chief, Behavioral Health & Crisis Services, DHHS
  • Ben Stevenson, Prevention & Harm Reduction manager, DHHS
  • Beth Tabachnick, therapist II, Crisis Intervention Team Clinician, DHHS/Montgomery County Police Department
  • Tim Black, director of Consulting, White Bird Clinic

DHHS currently has one mobile crisis outreach team that provides crisis intervention services and was recently awarded a $1.9 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant to add five more mobile crisis outreach teams to meet the increasing need for these services.  The CAHOOTS model is used by DHHS mobile crisis staff in how they are trained to de-escalate a situation and engage individuals in need.

White Bird Clinic launched CAHOOTS as a community policing initiative in 1989.  CAHOOTS is dispatched through the Eugene, Oregon police-fire-ambulance communications center, and within the Springfield urban growth boundary via the Springfield non-emergency number. Each CAHOOTS team consists of a medic (either a nurse or an EMT) and a crisis worker (who has at least several years’ experience in the mental health field). CAHOOTS provides immediate stabilization in case of urgent medical need or psychological crisis, assessment, information, referral, advocacy, and (in some cases) transportation to the next step in treatment.  Any person who reports a crime in progress, violence, or a life-threatening emergency may receive a response from the police or emergency medical services instead of or in addition to CAHOOTS.

The Wellness Community Events meetings are held virtually every other Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  The events are free, open to the public, and no registration is required.  Join the conversation on Teams Live at or view it live on the County Cable Montgomery and the County’s Facebook page.

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Release ID: 21-621
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6507
Categories: Health