Law enforcement to learn how to respond to mental health crisis

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Missouri is collaborating with law enforcement officials and mental health professionals on a special Crisis Intervention Team Training.

Seven counties will soon come together in America's Hometown for a crisis intervention team training program.

The CIT Basic Training program is a 40-hour approved training course focusing on training law enforcement basic assessment skills for incidents involving a behavioral health crisis.

"It teaches them the skills they need to be able to help those people, get them to the resources they need and get back to the street quicker," says Saints Avenue Regional CIT Co-Chair Jessica Baker.

CIT officers utilize their training to de-escalate a situation in a time of crisis.

"It puts all of those resources at the hands of those officers so that if they get a call at 2 in the morning and it is somebody who is suicidal or aggressive and they need some kind of treatment they will know exactly what the process is in this area and who they can connect with in order to get the person the help that they need,” says Baker.

Saints Avenue Regional CIT Co-Chair Brain Hooly says he wasn't aware of how vital the training was until he enrolled in the training course.

"It was training that was put on my as well go to it and after I went to it, it was something that was very beneficial for not only the law enforcement community but the community that law enforcement serves,” says Hooly.

The program was introduced in the Greater St. Louis area in 2003. Since then there are 26 local CIT councils across the state of Missouri and over 7,200 Missouri law enforcement trained in crisis intervention.

Donations of food and coffee are being accepted for the training sessions. Those can be made to the Saints Avenue Regional CIT Council.

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