David W. Covington, LPC, MBA is a behavioral health innovator, entrepreneur, and storyteller. David is known for building better mental health crisis systems though his roles as CEO and President of RI International, and partner in Behavioral Health Link. David founded the Five Lanes Crisis Partners family of companies and the Crisis Now Academy, consulting and training business. David tells moving stories as producer of the Moving America’s Soul on Suicide film series and founder of the international initiatives #CrisisTalk  and Hope Inc. Stories.

Transforming Care

I’m with you. That’s the message of patient-centered care, explicitly shifting the power of decision-making to the individual in pain. In his featured presentation to the 100th episode of the 988 Crisis Jam learning community, Dr. Don Berwick questioned the extent to which the loss of control and agency in crisis contributes to suffering. Activist Tonja Myles responded, “I’m feeling sad, mad and excited because I’ve been the person behind those doors and felt like I became a behavioral health hostage. I had no control over anything; my voice did not matter. I believe we will do a better job, we will treat people with dignity and respect, and we can make a difference.”


David has served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee since 2010. In 2011, he co-led the Action Alliance task force on clinical care which founded the international movement Zero Suicide. He was also the vice-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Steering Committee from 2005 until 2020. David hosts and curates the popular weekly 988 “Crisis Jam” Learning Community in partnership with SAMHSA and NASMHPD.

Crisis Now Time to Act

At every catastrophe we band together to save those individuals in crisis. But, what if your worst day is a mental health, substance use or suicidal crisis? It’s time to care.

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