Last week, June 14th – June 18th, Southwest Counseling Service hosted the Sweetwater County Sheriffs Office, Rock Springs Police Department (RSPD) and Green River Police Department (GRPD) in Sweetwater County’s first Crisis Intervention Team training.
The training brought together some of our community’s experts in mental health and Law Enforcement and includes a variety of presentations throughout the week from guest speakers. This training also provided members who attend the ability to network, exchange resources, and create ways to better serve our community’s needs.
Crisis Intervention Teams are typically comprised of law enforcement, mental healthcare providers and experts, peer specialists, hospital and emergency service providers and other first responders. The purpose of incorporating many individuals who specialize in emergency care is to create a community response for people who may be experiencing a crisis.
Crisis teams are trained in a variety of topics including:
- Substance use, misuse, and abuse
- De-escalation techniques and appropriate use of force
- Mental illnesses and disorders including suicide and depression
- Suicide by police officers
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Personality Disorders
- Thought Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- The Title 25 Process
- Self Care
The training also incorporated practical application scenarios so that officers have the opportunity to respond as they would in the field.
Crisis Intervention Teams have proven to be effective by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI states that CIT training allows law enforcement officers to focus on crime by reducing the amount of time it takes for officers to spend responding to a mental health call. This training is designed to give officers more tools to do their jobs safely and effectively. The National Institute on Health (NIH) claims that CIT is organized to help improve officer attitude and knowledge about Mental Illness. The other benefit to our community is to reduce the number of arrests of people with mental illness and refer them to mental health services.
The purpose of incorporating CIT in our Communities and County is to work collectively between agencies with the overall goal to establish a better standard for mental health crisis response.