DeKalb Community Service Board has solidified a co-responder program with the cities of Doraville and Dunwoody to answer behavioral health needs and improve outcomes of individuals experiencing crises in our community.

May 11, 2023

Decatur, GA – DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) has partnered with the City of Dunwoody and the City of Doraville in response to the passing of the Georgia Behavioral Health and Peace Officer Co-Responder Act (S.B. 403). The Co-Responder Program pairs trained law enforcement officers with a mental health crisis worker when responding to calls involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

This program bridges the gap between law enforcement and those needing behavioral health services and presents other options instead of incarceration or

As of May 1, 2023, the DeKalb CSB provides a fully licensed clinical social worker who will serve as the mental health co-responder for both cities. The mental health co-responder will provide clinical consultation services, screening, clinical assessment, mental status evaluation therapeutic intervention, clinical education, and disposition with individuals and their families; therapeutic de-escalation as needed; follow-ups on previous crisis phone calls; training to the City’s staff; and conducts outreach and intake for the City of Doraville and the City of Dunwoody staff referrals.

“The Co-Responder program is specifically tailored to give citizens of DeKalb County experiencing mental health crises, intoxication, or homelessness wider access to de-escalation techniques, mental health services, and linkage to community resources.” Shelby Roche, Director of DeKalb Regional Crisis Center, says.

Fabio van der Merwe, CEO of DeKalb Community Service Board, says, “This DeKalb CSB partnership with the Cities of Doraville and Dunwoody demonstrates their commitment to improving access to mental health crisis services in their communities.

With over 26 years of experience providing Co-responder services, the DeKalb CSB look forward to working with the cities and their police departments in expanding this vital community service.”

The DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB) is an innovative, premier public, nonprofit provider of community-based behavioral health, substance use disorder, and intellectual and developmental disability services. They envision a community in which disabilities no longer limit potential.

With over 20 locations, DeKalb CSB provides quality, individualized services focusing on self-directed mental wellness, recovery, and habilitation to help individuals achieve their fullest participation within the community. They are helping make brighter tomorrows. DeKalb CSB has served the citizens of DeKalb County and metropolitan Atlanta since 1994.