Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training is a five day 40 hour certification course that is very intense and interactive. It gives an in-depth look at mental illness and and its implications for first responders.

CIT Covers Overview of Mental Illness

  • Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Cognitive Disorders
  • Personality and Substance Disorders
  • Suicide Assessment
  • Adolescent and Elder Issues
  • PTSD
  • Excited Delirium
  • Suicide

CIT looks at the causes and nature of the illnesses

Typical Patterns of Behavior

Common Medications

Guidelines for First Responders

Course Participants Will

  • Meet Advocates and Consumers of Mental Health Services who will Speak on their Experiences
  • Visit Sites such as County Jail Mental Health Floor, Mental Health Hospitals and Service Providers in your County.
  • Demonstrate Your Training in Extensive Role Play Exercises with Professional Actors while Keeping Safety in Mind for All Involved

The Course Objectives Include:

  • Define the difficulty responding to crisis calls involving someone with a mental illness.
  • Develop an understanding of their struggle in the mental health system and the role of the first responder (police, ems, mental health providers & case workers) and the risk factors involved with calls with someone in a crisis.
  • Meet a panel of consumers of the mental health services in the area in an effort to promote communication and understanding by having interaction when the individual is doing well and not in crisis. Discussion is encouraged on what works well for them when they are having issues with their medications and what doesn’t work well.
  • Define the concept of CIT and its origins. Compare it to traditional police response.
  • Explain and build on the benefits and advantages of building partnerships between police, ems, mental health workers and the community.
  • Introduce the practice of active listening skills and de-escalation techniques that first responders can use when dealing with an individual in a mental health crisis. Attendees are given the opportunity to practice and demonstrate these listening skills and techniques in realistic role play exercises using professional actors.
  • Provide contact with community mental health professionals giving presentations on adolescent issues, elder issues, suicide prevention, excited delirium, suicide by cop, psychiatric crisis screening, commitment, medications, and military reintegration. This contact, as well as site visits to agencies that provide services and assistance, familiarize the first responders with the community resources available to them.
  • De-escalation techniques are taught to be combined with their active listening skills in order to achieve our goal of using verbal communication before using force when confronting an individual in a mental health crisis all while still maintaining safety for the consumers and the first responders.

The NJ CIT Center of Excellence is available to assist and support all NJ counties in developing a CIT program. For more information about bringing CIT to your county, contact CIT NJ Director, Edward C. Dobleman, at 856-522-0639 x 105

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