Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network are partnering with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Chattanooga Police Department to tackle the issues of mental illness, violence, use of force, and treatment utilization.
The Crisis Intervention Team Academy is a 40 hour, intensive training for law enforcement officers to learn necessary skills and techniques to safely and efficiently handle people in cognitive crisis (mental health, substance abuse, dementia/Alzheimer's, Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc.)
The main goals of CIT are to: decrease officer and civilian injuries; decrease arrests of people experiencing a crisis because of their diagnosis; and increase treatment utilization as primary response for anyone experiencing a mental health, substance use, Alzheimer’s/dementia, or other cognitive disorder crisis.
CIT officers are often first to the scene (in the community and at medical facilities), first to evaluate and act on behalf of the consumer, and often end up staying with the consumer until they’ve gotten treatment.
As nationwide reporting of officer use of force, mental illness, and violence has increased, the Chattanooga area has ramped up this proactive approach to address these issues. HCSO/CPD CIT has become a national training hub for CIT and this year celebrates the 10th anniversary of the program in the region.
More about this program will be shared at the 10th Anniversary Banquet Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Read House Hotel. Program features special presentations from international CIT founding fathers, legislators, TDMHSAS, local officials, and numerous community partners. Tickets are available at https://CITbanquet.eventbrite.com.