From Planning to Implementation: How Sites are Building Systemwide Crisis Response and Diversion

During this breakout session, the featured communities will discuss the steps they have taken to build more comprehensive and coordinated behavioral health crisis systems. Specifically, sites will share the successes and challenges of their planning and implementation process, including how they engaged key stakeholders; how they conducted asset mapping to understand the needs of their local community; the type of data they used to inform their planning and tracking of initial outcomes; and the strategies they have used to sustain these services over time, including engaging more sustainable funding.

Risë Haneberg, Deputy Division Director, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center

Risë Haneberg provides technical assistance to county systems improvement projects, the Stepping Up initiative, and Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantee sites. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Risë served as the criminal justice coordinator for Johnson County, Kansas, from 2008 to 2014. In that role, Risë provided staff support to the Johnson County Criminal Justice Advisory Council and facilitated the coordination of criminal justice-related activities for the district court, the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices, the Department of Corrections, the Court Services Department, and the Johnson County Mental Health Center. Her work in Johnson County involved both the juvenile and adult divisions, and major projects included a Justice and Mental Health Intercept Project, Second Chance Reentry, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, and Justice Reinvestment at the local level. Risë previously served as the chief court service officer of the 10th Judicial District Court in Johnson County and began her career in criminal justice as a juvenile probation officer in 1979. Risë holds a BS in criminal justice from Wichita State University and an MPA from the University of Kansas.

Jay T. Armbrister, Sheriff, Douglas County, KS

Sheriff Jay Armbrister has served the Douglas County, KS, Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years as a law enforcement officer. After taking office as sheriff in January 2021, he committed to improving outcomes for residents with behavioral health needs and public safety in the community. This includes working with community leaders from many sectors to develop a continuum of crisis services. Examples of this effort include Crisis Intervention Teams, a mental health co-response, and mobile access team, collaboration in crisis call response, and a crisis recovery campus that will come online in February 2022. Armbrister is involved in numerous community organizations in Douglas County and has received commendations from the Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police during his career. He is a graduate of Pittsburg State University as well as numerous law enforcement leadership programs, including the University of Kansas Certified Public Manager program.

Margarita Chavez-Sanchez, Director, Bernalillo County, NM – Department of Behavioral Health Services at Bernalillo County

Margarita Chavez-Sanchez, MS, currently serves as the director of the Department of Behavioral Health Services for Bernalillo County. She began her employment with Bernalillo County seven years ago as a health and wellness coordinator focusing on county-wide employee wellness. She later became a special projects coordinator and was later promoted to deputy director of Department of Behavioral Health Services where she has been pivotal in the coordination and implementation of the Behavioral Health Initiative. Chavez-Sanchez received her MS in community health education from the University of New Mexico and completed a post-graduate fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, DC. Other career highlights include faculty health education instructor at the University of New Mexico and 10 years in a clinical health setting working in local emergency rooms and emergency medical services.

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith, Senior Policy Advisor, Baltimore Mayor’s Office

Alexandra Smith is a senior policy advisor in the Baltimore Mayor’s Office and provides support to the deputy mayor for public safety and the deputy mayor for health, equity, and human services. She is currently charged with drafting the City of Baltimore’s implementation plan for recommendations that came out of the Behavioral Health Gap Analysis Report following the Consent Decree. Smith has served under four administrations in the mayor’s office, including in other roles such as youth justice strategy and community engagement. Prior to her work in the mayor’s office, Smith worked on a number of political campaigns and started her career as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore City. She received her MA in education from the Johns Hopkins University.

Beya Thayer

Beya Thayer, Executive Director, Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, AZ

Beya Thayer is a systems advocate supporting enhanced collaborations among multi-disciplinary teams and enjoys the opportunity to work as the Executive Director of the Yavapai Justice and Mental Health Coalition. Beya works to develop and implement strategies that lead to the long-term and sustainable involvement of community institutions, organizations, and individuals within the intersections of justice and behavioral health – with the goal of addressing partnership and systems change. Beya’s career has given her the opportunity to create partnerships and collaborations with diverse communities, professions, and agencies throughout Arizona to effect policy and change on both the micro and macro levels. Beya has a Master’s in Social Work from Arizona State University and has worked extensively in the social services arena for over 25 years.

Nastassia Walsh

Nastassia Walsh, Associate Program Director for Community Health and Justice, National Association of Counties (NACo)

Nastassia Walsh is associate program director for community health and justice at the National Association of Counties (NACo). In this role, she oversees programmatic activities and strategy on NACo’s justice and health portfolios to support county innovation. Prior to joining NACo, Walsh was a senior policy analyst at The Council of State Governments Justice Center where she provided training and technical assistance to state and local criminal and juvenile justice agencies to develop programs for people returning to their communities from jails and prisons. She also spent six years at the nonprofit Justice Policy Institute researching local, state, and federal criminal and juvenile justice policies. She has a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Marymount University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University.