Colorado Crisis Education and Response Network (CoCERN)

What is CoCERN?
CoCERN is a multi-agency, inclusive, organized, collaborative network for behavioral health disaster response.  Behavioral health disaster response is defined as all psychosocial activities, which serve to support the individual, group, and/or community in dealing with the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual impacts of a disaster.  This includes mental health, substance abuse assessment/referral, victim assistance, and spiritual or pastoral care interventions. When a behavioral health agency’s resources are depleted or overwhelmed following any large-scale event, CoCERN members provide support and services to the requesting agency, survivors, responders, responder families and the public.
CoCERN will provide efficient and effective services to survivors, responders, responder families, and the public following any large-scale event.

CoCERN’s mission is to provide coordinated behavioral health services address the immediate psychosocial needs of communities affected by an all-hazards incident.  The accomplishment of this mission rests on the following values:


Trust is required for effective partnership.  It is expected that all CoCERN Partner Agencies will act in accordance with a trust in the whole and will work to support all partner agencies in their primary missions whenever possible.


 Behavioral health disaster planning requires the ongoing collaboration of individuals from different organizations and agencies.  Collaboration must exist at all levels of the planning and response process. 


Cooperation during response is a core responsibility of all partnering organizations.  Cooperation must exist at all levels of the planning and response process, while respect for each agency’s mission is maintained.


CoCERN is a body functioning with multiple parts, and it is expected that all partnering entities will work to coordinate respectfully before, during, and after a response effort.


Strong, clear communication among entities and individuals is a functional requirement for a strong disaster behavioral health response.  This includes efforts to address performance issues following the event.


CoCERN strives to meet the needs of all Colorado citizens during crisis and recovery.  Thus, CoCERN will work with all survivors, regardless of national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, religious/faith background; CoCERN includes agencies and individuals that represent and provide services to underrepresented cultures and communities.  CoCERN will consciously and deliberately reach out to any and all in need and will work deliberately to prevent any inappropriate marketing or proselytizing during a disaster response.