OWENSBORO, Ky. — RiverValley Behavioral Health, in collaboration with local and state law enforcement, will provide annual Crisis Intervention Team training to regional law enforcement next week between January 9-13, 2023, at WKU-Owensboro Campus.
CIT training is provided to law enforcement using an innovative, community-based approach to improve the outcomes of encounters between law enforcement and people who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or coping with mental health or substance use disorders.
According to studies, approximately 10% of encounters with law enforcement in the U.S. involve people with mental health disorders. Programs like CIT reduce arrests of individuals with mental illness while simultaneously increasing the likelihood that those people will receive mental health services in the future.
“Having a mental illness isn’t a crime, but during those times when law enforcement becomes involved, officers are too often expected to have the skills of a trained clinician,” said Marsha Lowery, Senior Director of Clinical Services & Training. “Through CIT, a team of law enforcement and mental health professionals provide instruction that ensures officers have an understanding of mental health challenges. They learn what mental illness looks like and develop the skills necessary to respond in the most appropriate and effective ways possible.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, CIT training gives law enforcement additional tools to do their jobs effectively and safely and is associated with improved officer attitude and knowledge surrounding mental health disorders.
Studies also show that CIT has helped reduce the time officers spend responding to calls related to mental health concerns, which not only enables law enforcement to spend more time responding to other calls, but also produces cost savings within that community.
“RiverValley Behavioral Health is excited to continuously collaborate with local and state law enforcement to provide this needed training in our community,” said Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, RVBH President & CEO. “Crisis Intervention Team training is an important way for RVBH to coordinate with first responders to ensure those in our community who are coping with mental health crises and disorders have access to the care they need.”
CIT curriculum is submitted to and approved by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.
RVBH is the Commonwealth’s designated regional behavioral healthcare provider in Western Kentucky, serving Daviess, Ohio, McLean, Hancock, Webster, Union and Henderson counties for more than 50 years.
RVBH currently hosts more than 30 programs including inpatient and outpatient services for families impacted by mental health, developmental disabilities, and alcohol and substance use disorders. To learn more about out services, call 270-689-6879.
If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis, RVBH’s crisis line is available 24-7 by calling or texting 988.
Published on February 7, 2023