By Lindsay Wallace, Executive Director
On Friday, November 11, 2016, CIT International came to Wisconsin to host a certification course. Three NAMI Dane County staff were certified during this 8-hour training, which provided education on how to further develop the skills of coordinating, hosting, and facilitating local Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and Crisis Intervention Partner (CIP) trainings.
NAMI Dane County has worked closely with the University of Wisconsin - Madison Police Department and Dispatch, Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff's Office, and Attic Correctional Services to bring these trainings to the community.
CIT/CIP originated because officers responding to calls in dealing with people with mental illness and their families lacked any specialized training. To bridge the gap between police response and mental health care, a partnership was formed between these two professional communities to deliver a training that provided the education, tools, and skills necessary for officers to respond to these calls safely and effectively.
NAMI Dane County's role in the implementation of CIT/CIP in Dane County has been to bring in mental health professionals who provide an overview of mental illness, as well as individuals with mental illness and their families who have had contact with police or been involved with the criminal justice system.
We greatly appreciate our partnership with local law enforcement and corrections departments to ensure officers are provided with the information they need to better understand mental illness, reduce stigma, and ensure those in a mental health crisis and their families experience a seamless connection to community mental health services.
Since 2014, more than 180 officers have been trained in Dane County across 17 different departments, and interest continues to grow. If you would like to learn more about the CIT/CIP program, check out the CIT/CIP page on our website.