YELLOW SPRINGS — The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB) hosted a five-day, 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement individuals at Antioch University Midwest last week.
CIT is an internationally recognized best practice for law enforcement as they respond to crisis situations involving individuals in the community living with mental illness.
Throughout the week, participants learned about forensic monitoring, de-escalation techniques, psychiatric medications, trauma, and voluntary and involuntary hospitalization and client rights, while also participating in interactive hallucination simulations and role plays. Trainees included representatives from the Beavercreek Police Department, Fairborn Police Department, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Wright State University, Xenia Police Division, and Yellow Springs Police Department.
Participants celebrated the training’s conclusion at a graduation ceremony Sept. 13.
Keynote speaker Dr. Kathy Platoni, a renowned expert in PTSD and trauma, survivor of the Ft. Hood massacre, and practicing clinical psychologist in Centerville, spoke of her recent involvement in the aftermath of the Dayton shootings.
“I will continue to walk this journey with every police officer who finds their way to my doorstep, which I have done 12 to 16 hours a day for the last 5 weeks, 7 days a week … whatever it takes to keep them mission capable. This is my solemn duty to those who walk the thin blue line,” she said.
Platoni discussed how critical it is for officers to seek help to address the trauma they experience.
“There is an unmistakable message here not to be overlooked or missed; that asking for help from peers or seeking assistance from the mental health arena, just as you are providing this to the multitude of others as CIT-trained officers, will also make you braver than you ever thought you were,” she said. “The weight of the world is not meant for you to carry alone and the journey upon which you are about to embark must never be a solitary one.”
Officer Travis Hunsbarger of the Fairborn Police Department was among three officers to receive a CIT Officer of the Year award.
“These officers were nominated by colleagues, carefully considered the planning committee, and chosen because they exemplify CIT traits of fostering collaboration, showing compassion to assist those affected by mental illness, they work to understand mental illness and reduce stigma, and they have consistently applied the characteristics when interacting with individuals impacted by mental illness,” said Tracey Stute, director of prevention, treatment, and supports at MHRB.