For Immediate Release
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training helps law enforcement and corrections officers better respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
October 2 2017
Madison, Wisconsin --October 2, 2017--Today, the Dane County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) announced that Dane County Parisi’s 2018 budget includes new money to support their Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program.
The CIT program brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need.
The $15,000 investment will enable NAMI Dane County to expand the CIT program so that more officers receive the tools they need to do their job safely and effectively.
“We are extremely thankful to County Executive Parisi and his staff for including funding to support NAMI Dane County’s CIT program. This investment will help keep people with mental illness out of jail, and get them into treatment, where they are more likely to get on the road to recovery,” said NAMI Dane County Executive Director Lindsay Wallace.
CIT provides officers with 40-hours of intensive training, including:
Learning from mental health professionals and experienced officers in Dane County. One of the reasons CIT is successful is that it connects officers with a team of clinicians and fellow officers who can advise, problem-solve and support them when a challenging situation occurs.
Personal interaction with people who have experienced and recovered from mental health crisis and with family members who have cared for loved ones with mental illness. NAMI members present at the training, providing officers a first-hand opportunity to hear stories of recovery, ask questions and learn what helps (and harms) when a person is in a crisis.
Verbal de-escalation skills. CIT teaches a new set of skills for ensuring officer safety – the words, approach and body language that convince a person to get help, or defuse a potentially violent encounter.
Scenario-based training on responding to crises. With the help of volunteers or actors, officers practice their skills in common crisis situations, and get immediate feedback from instructors and classmates.
The CIT training curriculum model was developed through a partnership between NAMI, the University of Memphis CIT Center, CIT International and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
NAMI Dane County is the founding chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which provides education, support and advocacy to people affected by mental illness.