NAMI - Athens, An Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Ohio



Better Than Ever!  CIT Training 2008


Every November for the last six years, Athens has been the site for week-long Crisis Intervention Training for police from throughout the region. The objective is to train officers to learn to recognize persons in crisis with a mental illness, to treat such persons with respect, and to take the mentally ill for help rather than to jail.


As of 2007, 107 officers from 15 different departments had been trained. As a result of this training, many hundreds of "jail diversions" have taken place and it is likely that lives have been saved. This spring, Athens' CIT - a joint effort of consumers, police, representatives of our judiciary system, NAMI members, the 317 Board, and Tri-County Mental Health - was recognized by NAMI Ohio and the Ohio Department of Mental Health with their first CIT Program of the Year award.


We're on a roll. The round of training which took place in the week of November 17th 2008 attracted 33 trainees from 12 different departments. The attendees included officers from the Nelsonville jail, ABH, regional campuses (including Ohio University, Hocking College and, now, Washington State Community College), city and town departments, and the Sheriff's Office. Interestingly, the program attracted out-of-state attention this year.  Seven individuals from Northern Idaho attended 2008 training. These included Ann Wimberly, President of NAMI Far North, three officers, and three practitioners. In addition to earning their CIT pins, the group intends to implement CIT in their own similar, sparsely-populated rural area.

This year's round of training brings the number of SE Ohio officers trained by our committee to 140! We'll continue doing yearly training. But, even now, if a person in a mental health crisis comes to the attention of the police, the chances are very good that he or she will receive professional, respectful and supportive treatment from a CIT officer. Loved ones should not hesitate to ask for a CIT officer when reporting a crisis.





Contact NAMI - Athens
Appalachian Behavioral Health Care, 100 Hospital Drive, Athens OH 45701
Phone: 740-593-7424   e-mail: