The Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) launched in February 2021 to help meet the needs of community members experiencing behavioral health crisis. Behavioral health refers to instances where a person is experiencing mental health issues and/or a substance use disorder.
CIRT is a co-response team composed of licensed behavioral health clinicians from the city’s Housing and Human Services Department paired with Boulder Police Department officers. Under this program, clinicians and police jointly respond to calls involving a behavioral health crisis to help de-escalate situations and connect those in need to available services.
Should I reach out to CIRT?
It can be tough to know what to do when someone appears to be in crisis, or is demonstrating behavior that is concerning but not criminal. While there is not a perfect answer to most situations, this FAQ contains some answers to more specific, frequently asked questions about how to get help when you’re not sure what to do.
Connect with the Crisis Intervention Response Team
Contact CIRT about a crisis
- In an emergency call 911. In a non-emergency, call 303-441-3333.
- Please note that CIRT always responds with police.
We respond to behavioral health crisis calls.
- Calls may involve concerns about suicide, someone harming themselves, someone who is experiencing psychosis, extreme behavioral issues or a person who is experiencing a decline and not receiving appropriate care.
- We serve all people who are experiencing crisis for a variety of reasons.
- Over the last few years, we have served people from age 9 to 94.
- Mondays through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Colorado Crisis Services and Mental Health Partners clinicians and support specialists are available 24/7:
- Call: 1-844-493-8255
- Text: TALK to 38255
- Visit: 3180 Airport Road in Boulder
- Non-police mobile crisis response dispatched through 988/Colorado Crisis Line
Contact CIRT program staff
- Call 303-709-4291 for general questions about the CIRT program.
- Do no call this number for immediate crisis response.
- Because of the nature of our work, this number is not always monitored, but we will return calls within 24 hours.
Crisis Intervention Response Team Six Month Report
On Dec. 1, 2021, the city released its first Crisis Intervention Response Team report. The report summarizes the first six months of CIRT operation. Key highlights include:
- CIRT responded to 523 calls for service, with an increasing response trend which appears to be related to both increased utilization of CIRT and increased demand – some of which may be impacted by seasonal trends.
- Demand data indicates that overall CIRT program hours are well matched to hours when the service is needed in the community.
- About one in four CIRT encounters involved a person experiencing homelessness. Another 8% involved an individual at risk of losing housing.
- Approximately 25% of 309 unique clients had more than one encounter with the CIRT.
- CIRT clinicians initiated involuntary mental health holds in about 5% of calls. One of the benefits of CIRT expertise on behavioral health calls is the reduction of unnecessary involuntary commitments, which lessens negative impacts to people by preserving their autonomy and reduces unnecessary utilization of emergency medical services and emergency departments.
- Of the 523 encounters involving CIRT, only two (0.4%) involved use of force by an officer.
- Only six (1%) of the 523 encounters ended in arrest.
The city will publish annual CIRT program reports, with the goal of continuous improvement and the ability to compare trends or changes over time. The city has also applied for federal funding to support an independent program evaluation by professional research consultants.
As the CIRT program continues, the city will explore opportunities to expand capacity or implement complementary programs to support behavioral health. Crisis intervention is just one piece of the broad spectrum of behavioral health treatment needs supported by the city and its regional partners.