Local police and other first responders will conclude the 19th session of a specialized 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training program on Friday, January 17.
This week's training in the Main Meeting Room of the Ferguson Township Municipal Building will conclude with a graduation ceremony at 2 pm Friday. All media outlets are invited and encouraged to attend the graduation ceremony.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a partnership of police, emergency medical services (EMS), emergency communications, correctional facilities, mental health agencies, individuals with lived experience, and advocates, that provides a law enforcement-based crisis invention and de-escalation response to situations involving persons in a mental health crisis.
Some of the training program topics include:
* recognizing and understanding specific signs and symptoms of mental illness;
* understanding how mental health affects various segments of the population;
* understanding the effects and side effects of psychotropic medications, and
* basic and advanced verbal de-escalation techniques.
Attending this week's crisis intervention training are representatives from the Penn State University Police Department, State College Police Department, Spring Township Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police at Rockview, Centre County Correctional Facility, Centre County Emergency Communications, and Centre LifeLink EMS.
Centre County CIT was awarded a grant in December of 2010 to help establish this nationally recognized program locally. The goal of CIT is to increase safety for all those involved and divert or lessen the impact of the criminal justice system for persons experiencing a behavioral, emotional, or mental health crisis.
Since the program launched in Centre County in 2011, it has trained 365 first responders, law enforcement officers and other professionals.