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Community Response Team (CRT)

Columbia River is thrilled to shine a spotlight on our new Community Response Team (CRT) and their invaluable work.

Composed of dedicated mental health and peer support specialists, this team has been making a positive impact since its creation in early October 2023.

Elizabeth Cochran, clinical director of child, family and community-based services, shares that, “The Community Response Team’s goal is to build a shared understanding of mental health and substance use and how it affects people for better outcomes.”

The CRT is a group of professionals trained in de-escalation, immediate needs assessment, and resource navigation. Their mission is to respond promptly to the urgent mental health or substance use needs of community members.

This team plays a crucial role in situations requiring professional intervention but may not yet require law enforcement or emergency services.

“When we work together as a community, we’re able to better understand the challenges that people are facing,” says Cochran.


Connecting with CRT

You can call the CRT directly if you encounter situations requiring mental health support. The team welcomes calls from community partners, local businesses, and individuals within the Fourth Plain Community. By offering a nonemergency avenue for seeking assistance, the CRT promotes dignity, inclusiveness, and mental health awareness for better community outcomes.

The trained CRT members screen situations and refer community needs to the appropriate service providers. This ensures that individuals receive the specific care they require, creating a network of support tailored to diverse needs.

Cochran says, “People experiencing homelessness and substance use are often misunderstood. The team is directly addressing these misunderstandings through connection to services and community conversation.”

Columbia River Mental Health Service’s Community Response Team is not only addressing immediate mental health and substance use needs but is also actively working to foster a more informed and supportive community. Together, we can combat misunderstandings and build a community that prioritizes the well-being of all its members.

Thank you for being a part of a community that values mental health and supports initiatives that contribute to the health and happiness of everyone.


How to Engage the Community Response Team:

To engage with the CRT, community members are encouraged to call (360) 993-3166 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This hotline directly connects with trained specialists ready to respond with compassion and expertise.

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