COMPASS meeting


The COMPASS crisis response team complements and supports the work of New Haven first responders to 911 calls and through outreach. The team consists of a social worker and a peer with lived experience.

COMPASS also meets with service system providers, advocates, faith leaders, and businesses to listen to their concerns about crisis response and collaborate to enhance coordination and integration of services.

The COMPASS Community Advisory Board of New Haven residents meets regularly to ensure that COMPASS remains true to community needs and values.

The COMPASS evaluation includes continuous quality improvement of the crisis team and assessments of COMPASS effectiveness for individuals served, the community, and the service system.


In Summer 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, the City of New Haven funded a planning process to establish a civilian crisis response team to complement and support the work of first responders to 911 calls. Two units of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and the Yale Department of Psychiatry – the Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and The Consultation Center  (TCC) – led this process in collaboration with the New Haven Community Services Administration, Department of Community ResilienceCommuniCare, Inc., the CMHC Mobile Crisis Intervention Unit, and Continuum of Care provided additional expertise.

Planning included participation from a cross-section of New Haven stakeholders, including residents, service providers, and first responders. We conducted 14 focus groups, three community forums, and two co-design sessions with community stakeholders most likely to have lived experience of community crisis response. Over 250 people participated in this process, and 83% reported feeling satisfied that their voices were heard. (Please see the Community Input Report [English or Spanish] and the Evaluation of the Community Engagement Process). We also obtained feedback from 50 Greater New Haven crisis service providers from 35 organizations. (The service provider report is available here).  

As part of the planning process, we also collaborated with City of New Haven leadership and first responders as well as leadership from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).  In addition, we received consultation from Health Management Associates about sustainability. Finally, we participated in a federal Learning Collaborative on Community Crisis Response sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that provided information about best practices used by community crisis programs across the country. 

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Our Timeline

Spring 2022

  • The Consultation Center at Yale contracted by the City of New Haven to conduct a 38-month pilot of Elm City COMPASS through June 2025. 
  • Continuum of Care Inc. subcontracted by The Consultation Center at Yale to staff the COMPASS crisis response team.
  • Launch of the Elm City COMPASS Community Advisory Board with coordination and facilitation provided by the Program for Recovery and Community Mental Health.

Fall 2022

  • Completion of protocols and co-training for the COMPASS crisis response team and the New Haven Police Dept. and the New Haven Fire Dept.
  • Launch of the COMPASS crisis response team, 10am-6pm, 7 days per week.
  • Completion of the COMPASS data dashboard to track crisis response team services and referrals. 
  • Completion of interviews with New Haven residents about crisis response.

Winter & Spring 2023

  • Launch of COMPASS service system enhancement initiative through listening sessions with service system partners - service providers, activists and advocates, faith leaders, and businesses.
  • Ongoing feedback and engagement with service system partners and City of New Haven collaborators (New Haven Fire, New Haven Police, Public Safety Answering Point) through meetings, presentations, and reports of progress.