November 14, 2023

Warriors in the Community, Episode 31: Crisis Response Initiative

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters. 

This episode features an interview with Shantalea Johns, Ed.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Work, who heads up a new crisis response initiative that aims to prepare mental health professionals and paraprofessionals to act as crisis responders in a variety of settings, often collaborating with law enforcement. This behavioral health workforce will be trained for these new jobs with a goal of increasing public safety, as well as the wellbeing of the individual in crisis.

Announcer: This is Warriors in the Community, brought to you by Wayne State University. And now, to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our communities, here's Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Today I'm with Shantalea Johns, Ed.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Office of Continuing Education in the School of Social Work, and part of the Crisis Response Initiative, which she's here to talk about.


Shantalea Johns: Thank you. I'm happy to be here. 

Shantalea Johns, Ed.D.

Darrell Dawsey: So, give us a quick overview of the Crisis Response Initiative, how it works, and whom it aims to help.

Shantalea Johns: Sure. So, Wayne State School of Social Work has been giving some support from our state legislators to make a positive impact on crisis response in Michigan through the development of our crisis response skill building program.

The program is designed to train mental health professionals, paraprofessionals, and eventually students in a 40-hour skill-building program, trained to help them respond in different scenarios, including collaboration with law enforcement, fire, and EMS.

Darrell Dawsey: Okay. All right. Now, you say the program is getting up and running, so when will it be available?

Shantalea Johns: We are excited to be launching aspects of the program starting in the fall. We're looking at this as being a one source shop for increasing skills and increasing partnerships and increasing expertise, not only for the workers, but then we also think about the families and the communities that we will impact.

So I'm excited that we're able to partner with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to be able to be the leaders in this space across Michigan.

Darrell Dawsey: Wonderful. Sounds exciting. Sounds like a program that we definitely need in our community.

Shantalea Johns, thank you so much for joining us.

Shantalea Johns: Thank you.

Announcer: This has been Warriors in the Community. For more Wayne State news, please visit us online at today. wayne. edu slash WWJ and join us here next Monday at the same time for more Warriors in the Community.

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