Crisis Services
The Harris Center Crisis Services staff members lined up for an indoor group picture

What Makes Us Different

Our teams of highly trained behavioral health professionals work in a variety of clinical and community settings with individuals who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. By providing accessible, prompt, high-quality assessments, and effective stabilization and treatment, we ensure de-escalation of the current crisis to restore functioning in the least restrictive environment.

Crisis Services operators taking calls and assisting those in need

For questions about these Services, scheduling appointments, and more, contact The Harris Center Patient Access Line.


Low angle shot of a blue game piece house among a group of white houses in the same style, all in an all-white setting.
Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT)


The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, (Main Building)
​​9401 Southwest Freeway
​​Houston, TX 77074 

The City of Houston Navigation Center 
2903 Jensen Drive
Houston, TX 77026

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm

Behavioral Health and Substance Use services for individuals with behavioral health needs that have been placed in housing through The Way Home programs, reside at the City of Houston Navigation Center, or who are residing in an encampment identified by the Coalition for the Homeless. Referrals are provided by the Coalition for the Homeless’ housing partners through the Homeless Management Information System. BHRT provides community-based services to individuals to assist the individual with obtaining or maintaining housing. BHRT has received grant funds awarded by Harris County Community Services Department (CSD), Coalition for Homeless, and pending an award from the City of Houston to staff and operate the program.

  • Referrals come only through the Coalition for the Homeless and their housing partners
  • Collaboration with the Coalition for the Homeless
  • Individuals at risk of losing their housing due to a behavioral health need
  • Voluntary; must be willing to consent to BHRT services


A Houston Police Officer is holding a tablet device toward the viewer. They are conducting a video call with a member of the Harris Team.
Clinician Office Remote Evaluation (CORE)

The Clinician Office Remote Evaluation (CORE) is a specialized program that links a stationary licensed master’s level behavioral health clinician with a field-based law enforcement officer or deputy. The program provides law enforcement with an iPad tablet that allows for a video chat with a behavioral health clinician where they can speak to a potential patient on the scene.  This collaboration includes members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Harris County Constables, Harris County Fire Marshals, Baytown Police, LaPorte Police, Pasadena Police, and the Houston Police Department (HPD).

Hours of Operation: 24/7

  • Referrals: Using video technology, the law enforcement deputy or officer calls the clinician with the presenting patient problem.
  • Target Population: Houston and Harris County residents who can consent to a behavioral health assessment.
  • Program Benefits: Improve triage of behavioral health crisis calls and prevent unnecessary transports to Harris County jail, treatment facilities and emergency rooms. Continuum of care, if the person receiving services is active with The Harris Center, the current treatment team is informed of the law-enforcement contact to ensure follow up.


  • Behavioral health assessment of individuals adults and youth in crisis to determine the level of care, linkage to services, education to family members and discharge criteria.
  • Law enforcement will provide transportation to an inpatient hospital for individuals in crisis.
  • The CORE program provides single contact services and completes follow-ups at the request of the referral source. 
A group photo depicting members of the Houston Police Officers' Union
Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT)

The Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) is a specialized program which partners a licensed master’s level behavioral health clinician with a law enforcement partner who ride together and identify and respond to behavioral health crisis calls in the community. This collaboration includes members of the Houston Police Department (HPD) and Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) who are trained in mental health crisis intervention.

Hours of Operation: 24/7

  • Referrals: 911 Dispatch and referrals from the Houston Police Department Mental Health Division, Harris County Sheriff Office Mental Health Unit, and The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD CPEP administrators and clinics.  
  • Target Population: Houston and Harris County when residents  
  • Program Benefits: Divert individuals who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis into treatment, partnership with behavioral health agency increases officer and patient safety when responding to behavioral health crisis calls in the community.  Continuum of care, if the person receiving services is active with The Harris Center, the current treatment team is informed of the law-enforcement contact to ensure follow up. 


  • Behavioral health assessment of the individuals, adults and youth, in crisis to determine the level of care, linkage to services, education to family members and discharge criteria.  
Exterior group portrait of Homeless Outreach Team member in front of a fleet vehicle
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)

The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) is a specialized team of Houston Police Officers and Mental Health Care Coordinators who engage in street outreach to the homeless community to provide outreach services and case management to individuals who are homeless and experiencing a behavioral illness. The goal of the team is to reduce the number of people who are homeless and living on the streets by helping them overcome personal obstacles.

Mission: To improve the quality of life for all Houstonians by combining police and community resources to reduce the number of people who are homeless and living on the streets. 

The HOT Team is comprised of one Sergeant, six HPD Police Officers, one Metro Police Department Officer, One Senior HPD Police Officer, and three Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD Care Coordinators

Demographic Criteria: Individuals of any age within Harris County and Homeless and willing to receive services Voluntary 

    Referral Sources

    • We may refer individuals for HOT services through a variety of sources: 
    • Assertive Outreach 
    • Shelters & Other Homeless Providers within the Continuum of Care (CoC)  
    • Internal Harris Center referrals via Access Line or clinics 
    • Individuals 
    • Family 
    • Businesses 
    • Law Enforcement 
    • Local Hospitals

    Community Partners

    • Coalition for The Homeless: manages The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) 
    • Beacon Law:  assist clients with Social Security application for benefits 
    • Main Street Ministries (a.k.a. Operation ID):  assist clients with obtaining officially accepted identification documents 
    • Houston Recovery Center (a.k.a. Sobering Center):  provide education and assist consumers with substance use and recovery 
    • SEARCH Homeless Services 
    • Lord of the Streets 
    • Healthcare for the Homeless 
    • Salvation Army 
    • Star of Hope Men’s and Women Shelter 
    • Open Door Mission 
    • U.S. Veterans Initiative (U.S. Vets) 
    • Area Churches

    What does HOT do? 

    • Collaborate with the Houston Police Department (HPD) to conduct outreach 
    • Assertive Outreach & Engagement in the community 
    • Coordinated Access Assessment 
    • Provide information and referrals for housing, i.e., Shelters, Personal Care Homes, Sober Living Facilities, etc.… and community resources  
    • Case Management Services to bridge the gap between the homeless and the providers. 
    • Facilitate admissions to a more restrictive level of care 
    • Expedites referrals to projects for assistance in transition from homelessness 
    • Referral/Linkage for behavioral health treatment 
    • Referral/Linkage for substance use treatment 
    • Referral/Linkage for medical care 
    • Referral to community resources
    Two female African American members of the MCOT team working at their desks.
    Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT)

    The Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) mission is to provide rapid community-based crisis response and assessment to establish safety and provide interventions, skills training, and resources to restore balance, promote self-efficacy and increase support systems.

    Program Description
    MCOT comprises a multidisciplinary team providing mobile community-based rapid emergency care services, urgent care assessment, and continuity of care for all children, adolescents, and adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis regardless of residency status, diagnosis, veteran status, or ability to pay. All crisis continuum is person-centered, family-focused, intensive, and time-limited. MCOT uses the most effective and least restrictive approaches and interventions until the crisis is resolved or the individual is placed in a clinically appropriate environment.

    The multidisciplinary team is comprised of a medical director/psychiatrist, a program director, 3 clinical team leads, a team lead, a nurse, 12 LPHAs, 7 master level clinicians, 12 QMHPs, 8 psychiatric technicians, 2 and peer support specialists.

    Hours of Operation: MCOT is available 24 hours per day, every day of the year through a combination of on-duty and on-call coverage. There is, at minimum, one LPHA and one QMHP on duty 12 hours a day every day of the week.

    Making a Referral to MCOT
    If you or someone you know is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, please contact The Harris Center Crisis Line. Crisis Line Specialists will determine if an MCOT referral can benefit you. Call 713.970.7000 and press #1 for the Crisis Line.

    Download the MCOT Brochure: English | Spanish

    A photo of two members of the Rapid Response team examining something on a smartphone.
    Mobile Crisis Outreach Team Rapid Response (MCOT RR)

    In collaboration with the Houston Police Department (HPD) and The Harris Center Crisis Call Diversion (CCD) a specialized unit, Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) Rapid Response, serves as a fourth option for dispatch and first-line response for all callers to 911 and Houston Police Department (HPD) non-emergency line that are non-imminent and non-criminal. The program's goal is to eliminate the automatic response of fire, EMS, or law enforcement when someone contacts 911 in need of behavioral health assistance. MCOT Rapid Response teams are comprised of Licensed/Master Level Clinicians and a

    Bachelor Level Clinicians
    The goal of the program l is to eliminate the automatic response of fire, EMS, or law enforcement when someone contacts 911 in need of behavioral health assistance.

    Who we serve?
    MCOT Rapid Response is accessible to children and adults in the City of Houston catchment area directly referred from the Crisis Call Diversion (CCD) program. These referrals have been identified by dispatch and CCD to have non-imminent risk, non-criminal, and a behavioral health component.

    What to expect
    Clinicians will be dispatched by CCD and upon arrival on the scene will engage with the individual, assess for safety, and complete a crisis assessment.
    If it is determined that a higher level is required to ensure safety, the MCOT Rapid Response team will transport a voluntary individual to a psychiatric hospital and provide post hospitalization follow-up upon discharge.

    MCOT Rapid Response will provide post-hospitalization follow-up and can provide referrals or help with linkage to long-term behavioral health services when needed.

    Exclusionary Criteria
    Every effort is made to avoid unnecessary emergency response under best practices; however, MCOT Rapid Response activation may not be appropriate under the following situations:

    • Individuals presenting as aggressive/violent, posing a risk to staff safety.
    • Those in possession of firearms or weapons that are unable/unwilling to safety plan to limit access.
    • Individuals presenting in imminent risk of harm to self or others requiring emergency intervention.
    A photo depicting the diverse representatives of the Harris Center.
    The Enrichment Center (Community Housing Support)

    Target Population: Tenants housed at The Villas at Eastwood Apartment Complex

    Hours of Operation:

    • Monday, Thursday, and Friday  8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Referral Process 

    • Routine: Email
    • Crisis: Telephone, but Walk-ins are encouraged

    Admission Criteria

    • Must be a tenant at the Villas at Eastwood
    • Must have a behavioral health or psychosocial need
    • Must consent to services

    Referral Outcomes

    • Engagement
    • Intake / Consent to Services / Treatment Plan
    • Active participant in services 

    Discharge Criteria

    • Services no longer needed / successful discharge
    • Disengaged / no longer interested in services 
    • Eviction or move out 
    • Refusing to participate in the program after repeated efforts to engage


    • Assisting individuals with maintaining sustainable housing
    • Connect to ongoing community supports, primary healthcare, and behavioral healthcare
    • Improve the quality of life
    • Provide community support, training, and education to businesses and community partners


    • Crisis Intervention
    • Engagement/Outreach
    • Trauma-Informed Clinical Support
    • Intense Care Coordination and Case Management
    • LCDC Services / Substance Use Support
    • Basic Needs
    • Transportation
    • Linkage to ongoing support services
    • In-home, aftercare services
    • Access to Harris Center continuum services
    • On-Site Recreational Activities 
    • Peer Support
    A photo depicting a woman working in a call center.
    Crisis Call Diversion Program (CCD)

    The 911 Crisis Call Diversion program provides assessment, de-escalation, and linkage to the right-sized care for calls to Houston 911 with behavioral health concerns. We are a collaboration between The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, the City of Houston, the Houston Police Department, and the Houston Fire Department that have been in operations since 2016. Crisis Phone Counselors embedded within Houston 911 work collaboratively with HPD Dispatch to identify 911 callers with non-imminent risk behavioral health concerns and provide comprehensive assessments of immediate behavioral health needs to determine if the call requires emergency law enforcement or medical response or if the call is appropriate for diversion by providing referral and consultation over the phone or facilitating linkage to the Mobile Crisis Outreach Rapid Response Team. 

    Who we serve
    The 911 Crisis Call Diversion program services callers of all ages contacting Houston 911 with non-imminent risk behavioral health concerns. CCD accepts referrals internally from 911 Call Takers, HPD Dispatchers, HFD Call Takers, and from Houston 911’s Computer Aided Dispatch System only. There is no public number to reach the 911 Crisis Call Diversion program directly.

      Our services

      • Behavioral health risk assessment 
      • Crisis intervention for immediate de-escalation and safety planning 
      • Referral and linkage to first responders and/or behavioral health clinician-only response via Mobile Crisis Outreach Team Rapid Response 
      • Referral to outpatient or community resources for behavioral health and basic needs
      A woman is consulting with two male healthcare workers in a hospital environment.
      Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES)

      The PES provides psychiatric evaluations and initial treatment to individuals of all ages in psychiatric crises. The unit is staffed 24 hours/7 days a week by Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses, Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Psychiatric Technicians, and Behavioral Health PEER Specialists. Depending on the evaluation results, those we serve may be referred to an outpatient provider, admitted to the extended observation unit, transferred to an inpatient facility, or another alternative program.

      Who We Serve

      • Walk-ins accepted for all ages in a behavioral health crisis
      • May be open to another service or Harris Center program concurrently

      What To Expect
      Psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, and psychiatric specialists continuously staff the unit. Depending on the results of the evaluations, consumers may be referred to an outpatient provider, admitted to the NPC twenty-three-hour observation program, or transferred to an inpatient facility or other alternative programs.


      The patient came into NPC after being discharged from a substance abuse facility due to a disagreement with the staff.   He had 45 days of sobriety. The patient reported that he came into PES to get help to prevent relapse and avoid returning to the streets. The patient was reportedly frustrated and feeling defeated. He was seen in PES and sent to Crisis Stabilization Unit, where he was assisted with getting into a program. He felt a spiritual program would be the best fit for him. Staff and Peers worked with the patient to secure treatment with Open Door Mission. Peers reports he has returned to get medications until his appointment with the provider in the clinic and has remained sober.

      Our Services

      • Evaluation, medication, and stabilization services for those in a behavioral health crisis
      • Assist with transfer/coordination to a higher level of care, if recommended
      • Extended observation to assist with resolving the crisis and providing stabilization
      • Provide referrals and linkages with continued behavioral health treatment for both inpatient and outpatient services
      Crisis Services Unit
      Crisis Stabilization Unit


      The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) at the NeuroPsychiatric Center provides inpatient stabilization for consumers experiencing a behavioral health crisis. This is a voluntary program that requires a referral by a doctor. The CSU is available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. The average stay in the CSU is approximately 3-5 days.


      • Must be referred by a doctor.
      • Available to adults 18 years of age or older
      • May be open to another Harris Center program or clinic concurrently.


      • Psychiatric Stabilization
      • Social Services