Ozarks Healthcare Behavioral Health Center (BHC) conducts Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for Local Law Enforcement
As the number of those dealing with mental health crises continues to rise across the nation, law enforcement officers across Missouri are completing trainings to improve safety and emergency response efforts.
Ozarks Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Center (BHC) recently conducted such a training for local law enforcement: BHC staff presented a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which focuses on helping law enforcement officers learn how to approach and help individuals who are suffering from a mental health crisis. Personnel from the West Plains Police Department, Howell County Sheriff’s Office, Texas County Sheriff’s Office, Christos House, and Missouri State Highway Patrol participated in the CIT class, which was held at the West Plains Police Department.
“The CIT training is an excellent opportunity for our officers,” West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli said. “This training helps create connections with law enforcement and mental health professionals to provide the best possible outcome when dealing with community members in crisis. This training will provide our officers with more resources to help those in crisis, and provide them with more knowledge about mental illnesses.”
“This is the second CIT training conducted in our local area, and Howell County Sheriff's Office personnel have participated in both trainings,” Howell County Sheriff Brent Campbell said. “It is my goal to have all staff be trained in crisis intervention. The opportunities provided by this training are many but to name a few: networking and gained knowledge of resources in our area within the healthcare and social services systems, reduction in injury during interaction between persons with mental illness and law enforcement by use of de-escalation strategies, the ability to recognize and implement new strategies when dealing with someone in a mental health crisis, and possible reduction in recidivism in the criminal justice system.”
Knowledge and resources gained at this training has already assisted members in both the Patrol Division and the Adult Detention Center. The CIT is part of a joint partnership between the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Behavioral Health Council, local community mental health centers, and various law enforcement agencies. Ozarks Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Center (BHC) was granted a provisional CIT status in 2018, and is expected to become certified as a CIT Council within the year.
In addition to helping individuals who are in mental health crises, CIT is also focused on reducing the strain on officer to individual ratio for law enforcement agencies.
“CIT focuses on de-escalation strategies, and redirecting the individual from the criminal justice system to the mental healthcare system,” Mryiah Wallace, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and Ozarks Healthcare BHC Clinical Manager, said. “In turn, the mental healthcare system provides directed and non-restrictive accessibility to a full range of healthcare and social service options rather than incarcerating individuals which contribute to an already exhausted first responder community and crowding of the criminal justice system.”
CIT trainings across the state have already proven successful in increasing officer/citizen safety through a stronger understanding of mental health, reducing the time officers spend at hospital emergency departments, decreasing arrest rates, and reducing recidivism.
Ozarks Healthcare’s BHC will host its next CIT training in Wight County this fall and can accommodate up to 30 participants. Organizations who may be interested in staff attending the CIT are encouraged may call Ozarks Healthcare’s BHC at 417-257-6762 for more information.
Ozarks Healthcare is a system of care encompassing primary care and specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare, and home health services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire health system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare, visit www.OzarksHealthcare.com.
Ozarks Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Center (BHC) recently conducted a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which focuses on helping law enforcement officers learn how to approach and help individuals who are suffering from a mental health crisis. Personnel from the West Plains Police Department, Howell County Sheriff’s Office, Texas County Sheriff’s Office, Christos House, and Missouri State Highway Patrol participated in the CIT class, which was held at the West Plains Police Department.
West Plains Police Patrol Sergeant Brandon Romans is pictured accepting his certificate of completion of the Ozarks Healthcare BHC’s most recent CIT training.