What They’re Watching: Michelle McDaniel, Crisis Connections


Eli Kirshbaum


Aligning physical and behavioral healthcare is a central goal for Michelle McDaniel, chief executive officer of Crisis Connections, an organization that works to strengthen Washington State’s crisis response system and ensure those who need it have timely access to crisis care. We sat down with McDaniel at our recent 2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference to hear about what she’s watching in the state’s healthcare space.

She said the nationwide launch of 988 last summer was a huge advancement in crisis support.

“Right now, the services available for people who have substance use disorder or mental health issues is not the same as the healthcare system available for people with physical ailments. So it’s a really exciting time to be in the behavioral health field as a leader because there’s really attention being paid now to making sure that we have parity and integration between those two.”