Virtual Behavioral Health Crisis Intervention

by J.C. Adams, Norine Yukon

Behavioral health crisis intervention is at the center of one of our culture’s biggest problems.  Today these encounters are most often handled by law enforcement who are ill-equipped to handle these situations alone.  Along with addressing healthcare inequities, we must make progress in law enforcement and criminal justice reform.

Consider the following dilemmas:

  • After decades of defunding the mental healthcare system in America, police have become the de facto facilitators of people's complex issues. Officers are not equipped, and they never signed up for this. 1
  • People with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians. 2
  • Blacks are nearly 3 times more likely to be shot by police when unarmed than white counterparts. 3
  • If a black person has a mental health crisis in this country, calling 911 can be a death sentence. 4

Accelerating a Proven Solution

We must do more. While the benefits of partnering mental health clinicians with law enforcement via ride-alongs (co-responder programs) have proven to be highly effective 5, it is difficult to scale.  The Cloud 911 mobile application was designed to connect police to remote mental health clinicians to enable the on-site treatment of patients experiencing mental health crises in the community. Cloud 911 provides officers with a secure, compassionate alternative for these citizens in crisis. Our innovation solution has received national awards and press because it has worked to reduce jail and hospital admissions.  People deserve to be treated in the least restrictive environment possible.

Innovation with Compassion

Making telehealth crisis intervention available to all first responders and the people they serve helps local communities provide more appropriate care in the most cost efficient way.  It’s the humane approach to law enforcement in these special situations.  

Click here to learn how Cloud 9 can help.

  1. NPR - Un-Policing Mental Illness
  2. Treatment Advocacy Center:People with Untreated Mental Illness 16 Times More Likely to Be Killed By Law Enforcement
  3. American Journal of Preventive Medicine: Deaths Due to Use of Lethal Force by Law Enforcement
  4. The Intercept
  5. Policy Research Institute - Responding To Individuals In Behavioral Health Crisis Via Co-responder Models: The Roles Of Cities, Counties, Law Enforcement, And Providers

#co-responder, #firstresponders, #telehealth, #crisisintervention, #steppingup, #executiveorder


We serve Counties, Cities, Community Mental Health Centers, Hospitals, Substance Use Recovery, Social Services & Schools

Our team is standing by to learn your local needs and share solutions that work.


Cloud 9 is on a mission to deliver mental, physical and social health access to underserved populations.

Connect With Us:

© 2024 Cloud 9 Counseling, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

Cloud 9® is a registered trademark of Cloud 9 Counseling, Inc.