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February 4, 2019

Crisis Intervention Team Training

Crisis Intervention Team Training The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board (TCMHRB) and the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness sponsored Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for 21 law enforcement officers in early October. Candace Carlton, our Quality Improvement and Compliance Director, and John Myers, CIT Program Coordinator, arranged for four deputies who cover our jurisdiction to visit Hopewell as part of their training.

CIT programs educate law enforcement about local resources, treatment, and supportive services for people experiencing mental health crises. Trainees learn about helping people with mental illness, addiction, and developmental disabilities, and learn and practice skills needed to de-escalate different situations. According to Mr. Myers, “Research has established CIT’s effectiveness in developing better understanding of mental illness, improved crisis response, increased jail diversion, increased continuity with treatment providers in the community, and improved safety for officers as well as the persons they are called upon to deal with, and the larger community.”

Hopewell staff have been thoroughly trained in CIT responses, including verbal de-escalation. Candace explained, “When someone is in crisis, our policy is not to physically restrain residents unless someone’s life is in danger. If a resident is not responding to staff intervention, we follow established protocols and call for law enforcement when necessary. We must keep the other residents and staff safe.”

After an incident, staff members debrief the witnesses and anyone else involved. Candace said, “Some residents have had previous negative experiences with the police and we encourage them to process their feelings. We have observed that when a CIT trained deputy is involved, the aftermath is less traumatic for everyone.”

The site visit was a win-win situation for everyone. Of the four visitors, only one had been to Hopewell in the past. Candace explained our treatment approach and the population we serve, and took the deputies on a tour of the farm to familiarize them with our facilities. “The deputies now know what to expect when they respond to a call from Hopewell,” said Candace. “More importantly, when we ask for a CIT trained deputy, we know that residents will be treated with compassion and respect.

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