71.24.903  <<  71.24.905 >>   71.24.906

Co-response services.

(1) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the University of Washington shall, in consultation and collaboration with the co-responder outreach alliance and other stakeholders as appropriate in the field of co-response:
(a) Establish regular opportunities for police, fire, emergency medical services, peer counselors, and behavioral health personnel working in co-response to convene for activities such as training, exchanging information and best practices around the state and nationally, and providing the University of Washington with assistance with activities described in this section;
(b) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, administer a small budget to help defray costs for training and professional development, which may include expenses related to attending or hosting site visits with experienced co-response teams;
(c) Develop an assessment to be provided to the governor and legislature by June 30, 2023, describing and analyzing the following:
(i) Existing capacity and shortfalls across the state in co-response teams and the co-response workforce;
(ii) Current alignment of co-response teams with cities, counties, behavioral health administrative services organizations, and call centers; distribution among police, fire, and EMS-based co-response models; and desired alignment;
(iii) Current funding strategies for co-response teams and identification of federal funding opportunities;
(iv) Current data systems utilized and an assessment of their effectiveness for use by co-responders, program planners, and policymakers;
(v) Current training practices and identification of future state training practices;
(vi) Alignment with designated crisis responder activities;
(vii) Recommendations concerning best practices to prepare co-responders to achieve objectives and meet future state crisis system needs, including those of the 988 system;
(viii) Recommendations to align co-responder activities with efforts to reform ways in which persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis interact with the criminal justice system; and
(ix) Assessment of training and educational needs for current and future co-responder workforce;
(d) Beginning in calendar year 2023, begin development of model training curricula for individuals participating in co-response teams; and
(e) Beginning in calendar year 2023, host an annual statewide conference that draws state and national co-responders.
(2) Stakeholders in the field of co-response may include, but are not limited to, the Washington association of designated crisis responders; state associations representing police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel; the Washington council on behavioral health; the state enhanced 911 system; 988 crisis call centers; and the peer workforce alliance.


FindingPurpose2022 c 232: "The legislature finds that behavioral health co-response has experienced a surge in popularity in Washington state in the past five years. The legislature recognizes the importance of training for those involved in co-responder programs to promote high standards within programs and to enhance the skills of those already working in this field. The purpose of this act is to develop best practice recommendations and a model training curriculum relevant to first responders and behavioral health professionals working on co-response teams, to create ongoing learning opportunities for emerging and established co-response programs, and to develop the workforce to fill future co-responder hiring needs." [ 2022 c 232 § 1.]
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