Providence seeks proposals to expand behavioral health crisis response program

PROVIDENCE – City officials are seeking ideas to expand Providence’s behavioral health crisis response program.

A request for proposals, announced March 22, asks respondents to address two separate issues.

Proposals should offer a way to include the fire department within co-response efforts already in use and create a plan to provide mental health support and intervention for residents who call 911.

Both efforts are part of Providence’s multiphase Behavioral Health and Social Service Crisis Response Program, which is being designed in coordination with the city’s public safety department.

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The provider whose proposal is selected will be expected to provide a clinician to respond to behavioral health and social service calls along with the fire department and emergency medical crews, and another clinician to handle 911 calls dealing with the same issues.

The RFP is intended to advance a report completed last year as a result of a partnership between the city of Providence, the Providence Center, and Family Service of Rhode Island. The report provided analysis and planning recommendations for behavioral health and social service interventions within the public safety sphere.

“We’re committed to challenging the way things have always been done and to find new solutions that better meet our needs,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “After designing this program with feedback from key stakeholders, this request for proposals will allow us to provide more and better treatment to people experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis.”

Applications for the RFP, which can be found here, are due by April 11.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.