Friday, December 19, 2008

The Crisis Intervention Team and You

I have been doing some research on the training and over all effectiveness of Crisis Intervention Teams and have found some great informational history on this issue as is presented by the link below:
Mission Statement
"The mission of the Crisis Intervention Team is to use understanding and skills gained through specific training to identify and provide the most effective and compassionate response possible to police situations involving people in a mental health crisis."

In 1994 the Portland Police Bureau joined in a partnership with the Multnomah County Behavioral Health Division, Oregon Advocacy Center, Oregon Health Sciences University and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill - Multnomah(then AMI - Multnomah) in researching, creating, and implementing a specialized law enforcement program. The purpose of this program was to develop a more effective, compassionate, and safer approach to interacting with people who suffer in a mental illness or developmental disability crisis. This community partnership was the genesis of the Portland Police Bureau's Crisis Intervention Team.

Source and more:
Our Mission: To provide a more professional and humane response to individuals in serious mental health crises.

Our Houston Police Department CIT program provides officers with training on mental illness and crisis intervention/de-escalation techniques. This training is proven to help officers de-escalate situations involving individuals in serious mental health crisis. The goal of the program is to keep officers and mental health consumers safe in these encounters. The training results in a more professional, effective and humane response by law enforcement officers to individuals with mental illness.

Source and More:
What is CIT? CIT is specialized training for volunteer police officers on how to
work with the mentally ill. It includes training on all facets of brain disease
including depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders as well as
medications, developmental disabilities, post traumatic stress, and cultural
issues. There is also discussion on topics including suicide assessment, dual
diagnosis, and the impact on the law, the courts and the prison system. Special
emphasis is placed on dealing with excited delirium and the principals of deescalation when working with someone in crisis. The week is capped off with a
day of scenario-based training involving actors in typical situations that officers
respond to and where mental illness is a factor.

Source and More:
Objectives: In recognition of the fact that police are often the first responders
for individuals who are experiencing a mental illness crisis,
police departments nationally are incorporating specialized training for
officers in collaboration with local mental health systems. This study examined
police dispatch data before and after implementation of a crisis
intervention team (CIT) program to assess the effect of the training on
officers’ disposition of calls. Methods: The authors analyzed police dispatch
logs for two years before and four years after implementation of
the CIT program in Akron, Ohio, to determine monthly average rates of
mental disturbance calls compared with the overall rate of calls to the
police, disposition of mental disturbance calls by time and training, and
the effects of techniques on voluntarism of disposition. Results: Since
the training program was implemented, there has been an increase in
the number and proportion of calls involving possible mental illness, an
increased rate of transport by CIT-trained officers of persons experiencing
mental illness crises to emergency treatment facilities, an increase
in transport on a voluntary status, and no significant changes in
the rate of arrests by time or training. Conclusions: The results of this
study suggest that a CIT partnership between the police department,
the mental health system, consumers of services, and their family members
can help in efforts to assist persons who are experiencing a mental
illness crisis to gain access to the treatment system, where such individuals
most often are best served. (Psychiatric Services 57:232–237, 2006)

Source and More:
You can find even more articles like this by going to any search engine and typing in this word string here >>> Crisis Intervention Team Training.

What we see by all of this valuable information is a over all consensus point of view that with ongoing training of these highly trained professional law enforcement officers not only does the citizen in general get themselves a better quality of police officer but those who suffer from Developmental and Psychological Disabilities get a much better level of protection,care,understanding and over all empathy from these specially trained officers.

I believe that we as concerned citizens of Boone County and the City of Columbia should hold all of our law enforcement officers to the highest of standards in regard to this issue. It could be any one of us or a family member in this situation.

There can be no second best where we as concerned citizens are concerned in this matter.

If you the concerned citizen feel the same way then please contact your local County Commissioners,the Mayor and City Councilmen of Columbia,all Mental Health Agencies in this County and City and express your deep concerns upon this issue.

Unless you the citizen stand up for what is right in our society we are just doomed to keep on repeating bad mistakes in the future.

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