Butler County mental health professionals have started countywide crisis intervention training to help first responers handle situations involving suspects with mental illness.
Last summer the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness marshalled a group of police, mental health experts and others in an effort to bring Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to Butler County. About 10 percent of emergency calls involve a person with a mental illness, officials said. The training helps first responders learn how to calm a person in crisis down and then, if transporting them somewhere is required for safety reasons, understand where to take them.
“Even though these people are trained, they’re not trained to our resources,” Benson told the Journal-News. “They have the training, they have de-escalation skills and they’ve probably had the ridealongs with case managers that are part of the program and all that kind of stuff, but they’ve not actually gotten an education about the resources in our county.”