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









The 2010 Round of CIT Training for Police


Every year for the last eight years, the Athens area CIT Committee, of which NAMI is a part, has run a five-day Crisis Intervention Training program for area law enforcement officers. Designed to teach SE Ohio officers to recognize "offenders" in mental health crises and get them to help rather than jail, our award-winning program had trained around 165 people as of last year’s course. This year, during the second week of November, we trained another 23, bringing the grand total to nearly 190. From the beginning, NAMI has had two roles in CIT Training:


First, we are the non-profit organization which handles the money contributed by the 317 Board, NAMI Ohio, other sources, as well as NAMI Athens, itself.


Second, our NAMI is in charge of organizing the consumer and family components of the CIT experience. This component has always featured family and consumer panels - the latter composed of individuals in recovery from the major mental illnesses. But almost every year we also make changes. Early on, we added a very well received keynote presentation by Milt Greek on “Schizophrenia from the Inside Out.”


Beginning last year, PTSD-wounded Vietnam veteran Jim McGarrity was brought down from Cleveland to talk about his experience with that disorder. And this year we added to the forensic panel a presentation, by Kristen Herrmann, on her experience with schizoaffective disorder which led to her twice being found “not guilty by reason of insanity.” 


The primordial purpose of the consumer and family input is to show the police that mental illness effects good people and that the agitated and confrontational “offenders” in a mental health crisis - about ten percent of their calls - deserve their respect and compassion.









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