The CIT-NJ Center of Excellence program is proud to announce that it’s now available in all 21 New Jersey counties, thanks to the help of county coordinators, advocates, and families. The program provides free, high-quality training to law enforcement officers and mental health professionals on how to respond to people in mental health crisis.
CIT-NJ is a collaborative statewide effort between County Mental Health, Addictions, and Developmental Disabilities services, the Counties Police and first responders, and their County National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) New Jersey. The program was first launched in 2007, and since then, more than 7,000 law enforcement officers and mental health professionals have been trained.
The CIT-NJ program is based on the Memphis Model, which is a nationally recognized approach to crisis intervention. The program teaches officers how to identify people in mental health crisis, de-escalate tense situations, and connect people with the appropriate mental health resources.
The CIT-NJ program has been shown to be effective in reducing the number of people with mental illness who are arrested, incarcerated, or injured by law enforcement. The program has also been shown to improve the safety of both law enforcement officers and people in mental health crisis.
“We are proud to announce that the CIT-NJ Center of Excellence program is now available in all 21 New Jersey counties,” said Edward Dobleman, the state director of CIT-NJ. “This is a major accomplishment, and it is thanks to the hard work of our county coordinators, advocates, and families.”
Dobleman added that the CIT-NJ program is making a difference in the lives of people with mental illness and their families. “The program is helping to ensure that people in mental health crisis receive the care they need,” he said. “And it is also helping to keep our communities safe.”
If you are interested in learning more about the CIT-NJ program, please visit the CIT-NJ website at www.citnj.org.
### Quotes from county coordinators, advocates, and families:
“The CIT-NJ program has made a real difference in our county,” said a CIT-NJ graduate in Bergen County. “We have seen a decrease in the number of people with mental illness who are arrested, and we have also seen an increase in the number of people who are getting the help they need.”
“The CIT-NJ program has been a lifesaver for my family,” said a mother of a young man with mental illness in Camden County. “My son was having a mental health crisis, and the CIT-NJ officer was able to de-escalate the situation and connect him with the appropriate mental health resources. I am so grateful for the CIT-NJ program.”
“The CIT-NJ program is making our community a safer place,” said Roy Leitstein, CEO of Legacy Treatment Services and an advocate for people with mental illness. “I have seen firsthand how the program is helping to reduce the number of people with mental illness who are arrested and incarcerated. The CIT-NJ program is making a real difference.”