Mayor Scott Reaffirms Commitment to Supporting Behavioral Health Response Efforts

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Monica Lewis
(410) 387-8378

monica.lewis@baltimorecity.gov

City Awards $1.5 Million to Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. to Expand Capacity

BALTIMORE, MD. (Monday, August 22, 2022) - Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, alongside Councilman Zeke Cohen (D-1), Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. (BCRI) Executive Director Johnathan Davis, and Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB) CEO Crista M. Taylor, announced additional funding towards expanding BCRI’s behavioral health response efforts.

This announcement is part of the Scott Administration's commitment to transforming behavioral health services throughout Baltimore in collaboration with regional leaders and service providers.

"BCRI has been an incredible partner in our efforts to transform how we respond to residents’ mental health needs by ensuring that those experiencing behavioral health crises receive appropriate support from trained professionals," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. " I am proud to announce that we will continue to fund the vital work being done by BCRI throughout our city as we build out a comprehensive behavioral health ecosystem that best serves those in need of such supports."

Mayor Scott has allocated $1.5 million to Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. to expand its capacity to serve Baltimoreans experiencing behavioral health crises, including the regional behavioral health call center, substance abuse programs, and community outreach.

"We know that the crisis system is the first line of defense for individuals and families facing behavioral health emergencies," said Johnathan Davis, Executive Director, Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. "As BCRI celebrates its 30 year anniversary, we reflect on our commitment to support our neighbors and envision a more deeply rooted role within the behavioral health system to deepen and widen our impact as we contribute meaningfully to a thriving and caring ecosystem. This investment in BCRI is an investment in Baltimore and our vision in ensuring all have easy access to high quality behavioral health services."

"As the first city in America to have legislated Trauma Informed Care, Baltimore’s commitment to addressing mental health is unparalleled," said Councilman Zeke Cohen, District 1. "Our police department needs to focus their full attention on reducing violence. Clinicians, nurses and community members with lived experiences are far better positioned to support people in crisis. By fully funding BCRI, we are building an ecosystem of safety and wellness for our most vulnerable residents."

"This investment of city funding reflects a shifting of our values," said Crista M. Taylor, President and CEO, Behavioral Health System Baltimore. "It shows that we believe mental health crisis services should be part of our community emergency response alongside fire, police, and hospital services."

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