Crisis Intervention Team training at the Madison County Sheriff's office
JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)-
In the last few years, the madison county sheriff’s office has become a state and national leader when it comes to dealing with mental health. One of the ways they are a leader is with their crisis intervention team that specializes in responding to mental health crises in the community. The way they handle these crises has become the model for the state of Tennessee.
“so when we respond to these situations, we’re able to use those de-escalation skills talk with them and calm them down to safely get them the help that they may need or it may just be end up where they stay at home, but just to kinda de-escalate that mental health crisis that they are going through,” says David Glover of the mental health transport.
The sheriff's office says that they saw a rise in calls for mental health crises during the pandemic. According to Dylan Whooley, anybody can experience one of these episodes. He is open about his personal experience with a mental crisis, “last year I actually had some personal experiences where I went through a mental crisis. Based on this class I was able to use what I had learned to help myself through it and to help other officers or other friends know what to say to me or what to do to where I could get through what I was going through.”
The training for the crisis intervention team has four phases. The first phase discusses in detail different types of mental illnesses. The second phase includes training with NAMI, the national alliance on mental illness, and other organizations to allow officers to hear firsthand stories about mental health and to ask any questions they have
Phase three is learning de-escalation skills, this teaches officers how to use conversation to calm down someone that is experiencing a mental crisis. In the final phase, officers participate in scenario-based training to practice their newly learned skills in a safe environment. All officers at the madison county sheriffs officer go through this 40 hr training but there are teams that specialize in crisis intervention
The sheriff’s office says that one of the benefits of the cit is that it cuts down on the use of force.