Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Systems Mapping Center. The Systems Mapping Center is an initiative developed by PRA to provide systems mapping services to stakeholders across a variety of topics, including behavioral health, justice, homelessness, and service members, Veterans, and their families.

Systems mapping is a collaborative process that produces data-driven systems change using a public health model. It allows stakeholders to identify gaps, resources, and opportunities at strategic intercepts and to create a robust system that works towards solving a common goal. PRA’s experience with systems mapping spans more than three decades. PRA has served hundreds of communities through its systems mapping efforts in urban, suburban, rural, and frontier localities.

The Systems Mapping Center is led by PRA Program Area Director Travis Parker, who has extensive experience in systems mapping, especially as it relates to front-end diversion in the Sequential Intercept Model. Mr. Parker brings significant direct service and administrative experience to this role, including his time providing behavioral health services in correctional facilities and managing behavioral health and managed-care organizations.

When asked to comment on the launch of the Systems Mapping Center, Mr. Parker said, “Over the last 15-20 years, we have seen, first-hand, the importance of bringing together community leaders, stakeholders, family members, persons with lived experiences, and many others to the same table to identify where cross-systems strengths, gaps, and other issues exist. Community collaboration, via a systems-mapping approach, can take gaps across a system and begin to develop them into solutions, strengths, and opportunities for recovery. We are proud of the progress so many of the jurisdictions and states we have worked with over the years have made. We have done this by using a public health, solution-focused approach, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with, assist, and provide strategic planning to you and your community.”

The SMC website is designed to provide an overview of available systems mapping services, highlight resources related to systems mapping across all topical areas, and to engage with communities that are interested in hosting a mapping. The SMC website houses information and resources on the following mappings:

  • Sequential Intercept Model Mapping Workshops: This mapping addresses community-based responses to the involvement, or risk of involvement, of people with behavioral health needs in the criminal justice system.
  • Homelessness Services Mappings: This mapping identifies community-based responses to homelessness through targeted steps at critical intersections.
  • Crisis Intercept Mapping for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families: This mapping improves a community’s ability to support Veterans and service members who may be considering suicide.
  • Critical Intervention Mappings: This mapping helps communities design strategies to prevent young people from dropping out of school or entering the juvenile justice system.
  • Competence to Stand Trial Mappings: This mapping brings together decision-makers in the competence restoration system to design ways to decrease waitlists and shorten a person’s length of stay in a hospital or jail setting.
  • Summit Strategic Planning Workshops: This workshop helps regional and state-level decision-makers find resources, duplications, and gaps in their system on a broad level.

In addition to an overview of services, visitors to the Systems Mapping Center website will find the following:

  • An explainer on what systems mapping is
  • Core components and values that Systems Mapping Center facilitators bring to their work
  • Filterable resource libraries
  • Maps of where PRA has conducted systems mapping events

Interested in learning more or bringing the Systems Mapping Center to your community? Visit the website and contact the team today!

About Policy Research Associates

Policy Research Associates, which operates the Systems Mapping Center, is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and is a national leader in behavioral health and research. PRA offers four core services that help individuals with behavioral health needs achieve recovery. In partnership with its sister non-profit, Policy Research Associates offers technical assistance, training, research, and policy evaluation services. Policy Research Associates offers these services in the areas of systems mapping, behavioral health, homelessness, income supports, criminal justice, juvenile justice, recovery supports, people with lived experience, trauma, wellness, education, and service members, Veterans, and their families.

PRA was founded in 1987 with the stated mission of creating positive social change for people and communities through technical assistance, research, and training.

About the Systems Mapping Center

The Systems Mapping Center, operated by Policy Research Associates, offers systems mapping services tailored to fit the needs of communities interested in strengthening their service systems. Systems Mapping Center facilitators bring together stakeholders from systems that may not interact with one another, but serve the same population to develop a map of the local network. This map identifies resources across intercepts and highlights areas of need and opportunities for collaboration. With this completed map, stakeholders can transform their systems from being system centered to person centered.