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Prosper Waco Joins Delegation in DC for Crisis Systems Mapping

Updated: 3 days ago

For the past seven months, Prosper Waco has been working with the Behavioral Health Leadership Team (BHLT), a group of key community stakeholders, including County Judge Scott Felton, City of Waco Mayor Dillon Meek, Ascension Providence CEO Philip Patterson, Baylor Scott & White president Chris Lancaster, Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network (BHN) CEO Daniel Thompson, and Waco Family Medicine CEO Dr. Jackson Griggs, on developing a shared vision for how we as a community can improve the systems intended to address and respond to behavioral health needs in our city. 

In the language of collective impact, we call that shared vision a common agenda. The BHLT’s common agenda is "to ensure that every individual in McLennan County facing moderate to severe behavioral health challenges receives high-quality care by a licensed clinical professional in a timely way, with the goals of strengthening family well-being and improving workforce productivity; reducing individual suffering, emergency department congestion, and crises resulting in law enforcement intervention; and providing appropriate alternatives to incarceration that protect our community and promote public safety. "

As a community, we’ve known that people experiencing a mental health crisis need access to resources but too often end up in jail or in the emergency room. Community leaders began asking the question: "How can we address our crisis systems to be more responsive in supporting individuals in our community who are in distress?"

This past month, behavioral health experts at BHN brought together a fantastic delegation including representatives of BHN, Prosper Waco, the Waco Police Department, and McLennan County specialty courts to attend the SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Policy Academy in Washington, D.C.  The goal was to learn about all the different components and best practices that go into crisis systems mapping and then begin to create an effective, cross-sector action plan for crisis response together. 

With a dynamic delegation around the table, it was a fruitful time of exploring the assets and gaps of Waco’s current systems and how we can better align law enforcement and behavioral health resources for people in crisis in our community. 

As Daniel Thompson reflected, “This trip, in particular, allowed us to explore the current crisis system, compare it against other state systems, and set goals to improve that system.”  Next steps? In the coming days, we’ll refine the draft of the action plan developed at the Policy Academy to the broader stakeholders in our community to determine what’s missing, continue asset mapping, and then finalize a communitywide action place to inform and guide our community’s work around crisis systems response.  

It’s a powerful thing to have a committed group of experts from integral sectors working together toward a common goal. It’s what makes us at Prosper Waco especially proud to call this a community—one that cares about the whole person’s needs and well-being—home.


While attending the SAMSHA Policy Academy, the Waco delegation, including our CEO, Jessica Attas, were invited by Waco-native Congressman Pete Sessions to join members of the Texas Association of Business in a night tour of the Capitol.


Charis Dietz

Director of Marketing & Communications


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