City of Galveston COAST Multidisciplinary Response Program – MMHPI – Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
projectsCity of Galveston COAST Multidisciplinary Response Program

City of Galveston COAST Multidisciplinary Response Program

SUMMARY – COAST is a multidisciplinary, comprehensive response program to improve 9-1-1 mental health emergency call response in the Galveston area designed by the Meadows Institute in partnership with Galveston city and county officials, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and other regional foundations.


people booked in Galveston County jail screened positive for a mental health condition*

*from October 2021 to October 2022

Project Updates

May 4, 2023

Galveston launches the COAST program - View Release

Project Details

Launched in May 2023, this program establishes Compassionate Open Access to Services and Treatment (COAST) Teams consisting of a licensed mental health clinician from the Gulf Coast Center, a paramedic from the Galveston Fire Department, and a specially trained Galveston police officer working together to effectively respond to individuals experiencing mental health crises.

COAST Teams offer a health-focused response to behavioral health emergencies, specially designed to provide immediate mental health assistance onsite and connect patients to ongoing care.

Operating out of the Gulf Coast Center offices, the teams are available in 12-hour shifts Monday through Saturday and 8-hour shifts on Sundays. When not answering calls, they conduct proactive and follow-up outreach to individuals in need of services. At Galveston’s 9-1-1 Call Center, call takers and dispatchers receive extensive training to recognize and triage mental health emergency calls. The call center also implemented a “fourth option” asking if the caller needs mental health services alongside police, fire, or EMS.

This program is part of a larger effort to transform mental health emergency response in communities across Texas and nationally.

The COAST program was designed by the Meadows Institute and financially supported through a public-private partnership. Funders include the Moody Foundation,  Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, The Pew Charitable TrustsHarris & Eliza Kempner FundIppolito Charitable FoundationMary Moody Northen Endowment, and the Sasser Family Foundation.

The question we are asking public policymakers needs to shift from ‘Why did we send police?’ to ‘Why did we send only police?’ Galveston’s COAST Team provides a better way of caring for all residents, equitably and with dignity.

– B.J. Wagner, Senior Vice President of Health & Safety, the Meadows Institute

December 9, 2021

Dallas Program Shows Signs of Effectively Navigating Behavioral Health Emergencies

This article was originally published by The Pew Charitable Trusts on December 9, 2021. When a person is in mental health or substance use crisis, most communities dispatch law enforcement officers, who often lack the…

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March 20, 2023

How Meadows Is Diversifying Crisis Response in Texas

This article was published by D Magazine on March 20, 2023. Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is helping other cities launch teams that can respond to mental health crises and divert individuals experiencing psychiatric episodes…

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August 1, 2022

Former Rockwall Police Chief Max Geron Joins Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute as Senior Director of Health & Public Safety

AUSTIN – Max Geron, former Chief of the Rockwall Police Department, has joined the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute as Senior Director of Health and Public Safety, effective August 1. In that role, Geron will…

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