Crisis Services Task Force

Check out the press release about our new report, Crisis Now: Transforming Services is Within Our Reach and view the archived webinar about the new resource.


The Crisis Services Task Force will drive the implementation of the revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), with particular attention to goals eight and nine, and offer another key focus area for behavioral health and healthcare systems to save lives, with deeper penetration in the community at large than the general public sector behavioral health system has access.


The primary outcome of the task force will be a brief (i.e., up to 25 page) white paper, “Future Crisis Care/Hospital Diversion Systems: What’s Essential?” The white paper will prompt health plans, Medicaid and behavioral health administrators to consider the next generation of integrated crisis systems and what essential components are required. The hope would be that these recommendations become Zero Suicide in Healthcare expectations related to behavioral health and healthcare.

For more information about the task force, read the Crisis Services Task Force Plan.

  • David W. Covington, LPC, MBA – Co-Lead, Private Sector; CEO & President, RI International, Inc.; Equity Partner, Integrated Health Resources, LLC
  • Mike Hogan, PhD – Co-Lead, Private Sector; Independent Advisor and Consultant, Hogan Health Solutions LLC
  • Leon Boyko, MBA, MSW, LCSW – Chief of RI Crisis, Recovery Innovations, Inc.
  • Bart Andrews, PhD – VP, Clinical Practice & Evaluation, Behavioral Health Response
  • Lisa Capoccia, MPH – Manager of Health and Behavioral Health Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC, Inc.
  • Lynn Copeland – Director, Office of Provider Network Management, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
  • Barbara Dawson, MEd – Deputy Director Crisis and Emergency Services, MHMRA of Harris County (Houston, Texas)
  • Susan Dess, MS – Principle, Crestline Advisors
  • Steven Dettwyler, PhD – Director, Community Mental Health and Addiction Services Delaware DHSS/DSAMH
  • Bea Dixon, BSN, PhD – Executive Director, Optum WA Pierce RSN
  • John Draper, PhD – President, Link2Health Solutions; Project Director, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Phil Evans – CEO & President, ProtoCall Services
  • Vijay Ganju, PhD – CEO, Behavioral Health Knowledge Management
  • Larry Goldman, DMD – Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Beacon Health Options
  • Gabriella Guerra, MSW – Head of Crisis and Cultural Services, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care
  • Brian Hepburn, MD – Executive Director, NASMHPD
  • Shannon Jaccard, MBA – Chief Executive Officer, NAMI San Diego
  • Richard McKeon, PhD – Suicide Prevention Branch Chief, SAMHSA
  • Steve Miccio – CEO, PEOPLe, Inc.
  • Heather Rae, MA, LLP – CEO, Common Ground
  • John Santopietro,MD, DFAPA – Chief Clinical Officer BH, Carolinas HealthCare System
  • Wendy Schneider, LPC – CEO, Behavioral Health Link
  • Cheryl Sharp, MSW, ALWF – Senior Advisor for Trauma-Informed Services, National Council for Behavioral Health
  • Becky Stoll, LCSW – VP for Crisis & Disaster Management, Centerstone
  • Eduardo Vega, MA – EXCOM member; Executive Director, MHA of San Francisco

In addition, the following persons will lead the development of the task force white paper, participate in the task force meetings and conduct a few targeted subject matter expert interviews as directed:

  • Gerald Fishman, PhD – Regional Director Eastern, RI Crisis (Recovery Innovations, Inc.)
  • Tim Mechlinski, PhD – Senior Advisor, Crestline Advisors


  • James Wright, LCPC, Public Health Advisor, Suicide Prevention Branch, SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services