There is still a lot of stigma out there, she said. That stops people from getting help. see thisIt also stops officers from finding out too much about it. Laura Usher, manager for criminal justice and advocacy for NAMI, explained that when officers become more familiar with the mental health system, then they are more likely to match the person up with more effective treatment, and the problem Cox described repeating the same encounters becomes less likely to occur. Thats why ensuring a CIT program is a partnership, not just educational, is so important. I always see this as there is plenty of responsibility to go around, she said. The ultimate responsibility should be with the mental health system, not the police. At the same time, they have a responsibility to respond safely and be humane. ace a medical school interviewI think most cops do not think theyre going to be social workers. She said the part of the training that includes interaction with people with mental illness is also an essential component. Police in CIT programs in other states have spoken to people who said, When that police officer was kind to me, that helped turn my life around. I think a light bulb often goes off in their heads when they talk to someone who has a mental illness who maybe has encountered police in the past but is doing really well now. These officers are not mental health counselors State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said he wasnt familiar with CIT training but said State Police does train some troopers in hostage negotiation, and that some detachments have programs with chaplains in place.
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