Support Team Assisted Response (STAR)
Our goal is to send the right people to help with crises related to mental health, homelessness and more. Learn more about this program below.
What is STAR?
STAR provides person-centric mobile crisis response to community members who are experiencing problems related to mental health, depression, poverty, homelessness, and/or substance use issues.
How does it work?
Before the STAR program began, Denver's 911 system was limited to addressing 911 calls through traditional ways, like sending police. Calls for health and safety issues were routed one of two ways; either they went through the police or the health/hospital system. STAR created a third option.
When someone calls 911 for something like a mental health crisis, substance use issue or even something like homelessness or poverty, their call can now be routed to STAR. STAR sends a licensed behavioral health professional and a paramedic to the person in distress.
When the STAR mobile unit arrives, the individual in crisis can be assured that the interaction is grounded in a harm reduction, trauma-informed philosophy. The team, dressed in street clothes, provides direct clinical de-escalation and community service connections, as well as on-demand resources such as water, food, clothing and basic living supports.
What does this mean for the community?
Ultimately, the success of STAR will be measured by resolving crises and connecting people to services. The Denver Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Paul M. Pazen and with the support of 911 emergency services, has put a significant emphasis on creating alternatives to a traditional criminal justice approach.
To contact STAR directly for yourself or another person, please call 720-913-STAR (7827). STAR operates Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.
Find Us in the News
9News | June 2, 2021
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | May 27, 2021
Cool Cleveland | March 12, 2021
NPR | March 8, 2021
Denver’s STAR program successfully sent mental health professionals, not police, to hundreds of calls
Fox5 New York | February 24, 2021
USA Today | February 6, 2021
If you don’t know where to begin getting mental health, substance use or emotional help for yourself or someone you know—start here. We provide confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365. If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, you can: