The JHU’s Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team has been rooted in public health and crisis response best practices, and engagement with members of our community of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.

August 2023 – December 2023: Expansion to East Baltimore Campus Footprint

  • This pilot period will enable the BHCST to evaluate coverage and response needs. Support is available 24/7/365 through the Access Line (410-516-9355) and on-site mobile crisis response is available Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 9:30pm. The team will adjust this coverage as needed based on calls to the Access Line and Public Safety, and review data in December 2023 to make recommendations for any staffing or protocol adjustments.

June 2023 – August 2023: Community Engagement

  • The BHCST leadership engaged numerous stakeholders to prepare for the East Baltimore expansion, including faculty, staff, students, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the RISE program, Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program, human resources, and community groups from surrounding neighborhoods. These meetings yielded important feedback about how best to market the team’s functions as well as partner with existing mental health support resources in East Baltimore.

January 2023 – June 2023: Planning for East Baltimore Expansion

  • Stakeholders from Student Health and Well-Being (SHWB) and Public Safety, as well as the President’s office and other key partners to meet regularly to plan for the East Baltimore expansion. Public Safety data for calls for service involving behavioral health components and SHWB after-hours crisis call data informed the development of the pilot coverage model. Recruitment and hiring of additional clinical staff and an Assistant Director position was a main focus of this period.

October 2022: Launch of the Access Line and Expansion to Mt. Vernon/Peabody Campus

  • The Access Line (410-516-9355) launched, providing a 24/7/365 link to licensed clinicians for support for mental health crises and mobile co-response. Prior to October 2022, all calls for access to the BHCST routed through Public Safety dispatch. In addition to the Access Line, the BHCST’s service area was expanded to include the Mt. Vernon Public Safety footprint that includes the Peabody campus. The same approach used during the initial program launch for engagement with JHU community and Mt. Vernon neighborhood organizations was utilized to gather feedback and increase awareness of the program.

February 2022: Expansion of Mobile Crisis Co-Response to 24/7/365 Coverage

  • In February 2022, the BHCST expanded coverage to provide 24/7/365 mobile crisis co-response to the Homewood campus. This change was supported by the successful hiring of a complement of licensed clinicians who provide on-site coverage from 9:30am – 2:00am, 7 days a week as well as overnight on-call response for mental health crises.

October 2021: Launch of BHCST Pilot

  • The BHCST launched with limited coverage hours on the Homewood campus in pilot phase. This pilot period allowed clinicians and Public Safety officers to become familiar with the JHU community’s needs and refine response protocols.

April 2021 – October 2021: Planning, Hiring and Development of Pilot

  • The BHCST project team conducted a careful analysis of Public Safety call for service data, mental health response data from existing SHWB services, and designed a recruitment, hiring and training plan. The first two clinical team members were hired and a comprehensive training experience with Public Safety officers provided an opportunity to build rapport and ensure that the response team had the necessary skills to launch the pilot phase of the program.

March 2021 – April 2021: Stakeholder Engagement

  • In early spring, the BHCST project team held more than 15 listening sessions with student leaders, community and neighborhood advocates, and faculty and staff groups. Outreach efforts expanded to include key external stakeholders, including neighborhood and community leaders, local behavioral health providers, LGBTQ advocates, elected officials, community organizations, and city government officials, where the concept was introduced and important feedback was solicited. In all, over 250 people, representing over 70 organizations were engaged in meaningful conversation about the program. 

December 2020 – February 2021: Comprehensive Assessment

  • BHCST project consultant Dr. Ronald Means conducted a comprehensive assessment of JHU’s current behavioral health crisis services and the range of responses to behavioral health crises in our community. At this time, he also performed a literature review of behavioral health crisis management in university settings.