Multi-agency partnership develops and offers Crisis Intervention Training

Several local agencies are participating in a multi-day crisis intervention training that is bringing together law enforcement, mental health practitioners and hospital staff to equip law enforcement agencies with specially trained deputies and officers that can recognize and diffuse problems that stem from emotional and mental issues.

Benton County Health Department staff initiated planning efforts to develop this training over a year ago. Organizations in the local planning workgroup include the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Philomath Police Department, Oregon State Police, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Oregon State University and National Alliance on Mental Illness—Mid Valley Chapter. Planning partners worked with Crisis Intervention Teams Center of Excellence (CITCOE) to ensure the training curriculum follows best practices and current recommendations.

 “This has been an outstanding team effort to put together the intensive training program.” said Mitch Anderson, Health Department Director. “The partnerships and planning between local agencies illustrate our community’s commitment to improved understanding and response to those struggling with mental illness, particularly in high-stress or confrontational situations encountered by our law enforcement partners.”

The training will be held September 11-15, 2017 and will cover many topics including mental illness and mental health systems; suicide behavior and non-suicidal self-injury; legal considerations and civil commitment; Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; trauma information interviewing; family perspectives; self-care; personality disorders; crisis intervention, and more.

Mental Health First Aid will be offered by trainers from Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. Other topic areas will be covered by Oregon State University, US Department of Veterans Affairs, and Benton County Developmental Diversity and Mental Health programs. Perspectives on legal considerations, civil commitments and holds will be offered by the Benton County District Attorney’s office.

The training concludes with a full day of crisis intervention techniques and practice scenarios led by Renee Cox, an expert in behavioral health and crisis consulting.

Cox has more than 15 years of experience teaching de-escalation and crisis management techniques also holds a role as the consulting mental health practitioner for two Washington State police departments on their Critical Incident and Stress Management and Peer Support teams.

“Learning about mental illness and how to de-escalate potentially violent situations provides us with another—and perhaps essential—option in dealing with folks with mental health issues,” said Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson.  

“When circumstances allow, this training will help us provide appropriate law enforcement combined with a mental health response which could potentially save lives in our community.”

Twenty participants from local law enforcement agencies, including Benton County Sheriff’s Deputies and officers from Corvallis and Philomath police departments will attend the multi-day training.