The 88-page toolkit provides specific advice for three separate stages of critical incidents: before (preparing for a future incident), during, and after an incident. For each stage, practical steps for commissioners in four areas are listed: understand your role, understand your agency, understand your state, and understand crisis communications. For example, a commissioner's role during an incident is that of a "crisis leader," who activates the agency's existing crisis management team, consults with state legislators and community leaders, and communicates to the public usually through media outlets. The toolkit offers "backgrounders" and fact sheets, checklists and contact forms, and a list of online resources to help prepare for and manage such incidents and evaluate responses. A particular emphasis is placed on what research shows about the perceived link between mental illness and violence and how to communicate this knowledge.