NEWS and EVENTS
NAMI Athens Involvement in Advanced CIT program - 2011
For much of a decade, NAMI Athens and several other entities have been involved in running and co-funding annual week-long Crisis Intervention Training programs designed to enable regional police officers to recognize folks in crisis with mental illnesses and take them for appropriate help rather than to jail. As of November 2010, around 190 officers from over a dozen entities have received CIT training, many hundreds of "jail diversions" have taken place, and, almost certainly, lives have been saved. In 2008, at a State NAMI Conference in Columbus, the Ohio Department of Mental Health, NAMI Ohio and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence named Athens' Crisis Intervention the "CIT Program of the Year" for its innovative work in such training.
The innovation has not stopped. Last year CIT Committee Member Cindy Boyd successfully applied for a grant from the attorney General's office to enable us to run an Advanced CIT program in 2011 for officers who had already taken the regular five day course. Accordingly, on April 11, 12, and 13, twenty one regional officers took a course designed to give them new experiences and new information.
NAMI Athens' super office manager, Lori Sefcik, helped arrange and introduce sessions on child and adolescent disorders and old age dementia. The SE Ohio CIT Committee, of which NAMI is a proud member, also arranged for talks by consumers who had experiences not discussed in most previous CIT courses. For instance, the officers got to to learn from consumers what it is like to live with borderline, bipolar, and schizoaffective disorders.
It is hoped that in the future, our committee will be able to offer more Advanced CIT courses.