Free Monthly Mental Health Seminars
Jonathan Lindsay, MS, LCPC, is a local therapist in private practice who holds free monthly seminars for the public the first Thursday of every month from 6 pm - 8 pm. All seminars are held at the Hawthorne Suites by Windham, 1 Lyons Drive, Bloomington, IL (Directly behind Cracker Barrel off Market Street). These seminars are always free and no registration is required. Johathan started these seminars as his way of giving back to the community.
Number to call for resource help - # 2-1-1. United Way is sponsoring for McLean, DeWitt and Livingston counties, this new non - emergency resource phone number. It is only available by landline and AT&T cell. Call specialist are available to help individuals locate health an human service assistance including: food, shelter, rent and utility assistance, physical and mental health resources, employment supports, volunteer opportunities and support resources for children, older Americans and people with disabilities. Call 211 or program manager at 309-834-0541.
News from McLean County Mental Health Court
The McLean County Mental Health Court is now functioning.
A large committee comprised of local police, mental health professionals, social service agencies, judicial representatives, and non-profit organizations have worked to establish a mental health court for McLean County. The goal is to establish protocol and eventually a facility so there is an available alternative to the county jail for housing people with mental health issues and other impairments. As the folks that work at the county jail in a counseling capacity say..." the county jail is not exactly a therapeutic experience."
Chief Crutcher is also promoting Crisis Intervention Training for the Normal police force. The goal is to have at least 2 officers on each shift trained this year. The training will be after the Memphis Model as supported by NAMI. The idea is to have officers respond appropriately in instances where a mental health consumer may be involved. Grant money has been allocated and training will possibly move ahead this winter. Other police departments in the are also looking at this training.
Police Chiefs Release Report: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has released a report titled Building Safer Communities: Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness. This report presents the findings and recommendations from a national summit held by the IACP in May 2009 to address the millions of encounters between law enforcement and persons living with mental illness in our communities. The report can be downloaded on the IACP website.
Local Police Departments Launch Early Notification Program
The following article appeared in the Life Center for Independent Living's LIFE-Lines newsletter:
Members of the McLean County Law Enforcement community have developed the Early Notification Program. The program was developed with the advice and support of local disability organizations, such as LIFE Center for Independent Living.
The purpose of the Early Notification Program is to provide information to law enforcement officers responding to investigations or calls involving people with disabilities. Many times police officers must make quick decisions which affect the outcome of a call. On occasions, officers may misinterpret the actions or gestures of persons with disabilities. In order to avoid a negative reaction, the officers will receive information from the Early Notification Program database prior to responding to calls so that they may be better equipped to understand and appropriately respond.
People with disabilities voluntarily register their specific information with their local police department. Information is entered into a confidential database system which can be accessed by McLean County Law Enforcement Personnel when responding to calls. This service is voluntary and free of charge.
Any McLean County resident with a disability may register with their local police department. The following list includes some of the disabilities that may be included in the database:
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Mental Illnesses such as mood disorders, psychotic disorders, impulse control disorders, anxiety disorders, or childhood disorders
To register for the program, the person with a disability or his/her legal guardian may contact the local police department to receive a registration form which must be completed and returned to the police department. Persons wishing to register with the program must be receiving treatment or have a history of receiving treatment for a condition that qualifies for the program. Supporting documentation may be required in some instances. The police department will contact applicants to verify information. They will conduct follow up calls every six months to update information. To be removed from the program, a written request must be submitted to the police department.
Please contact your local McLean County law enforcement agency for more information. Forms are available in alternate formats upon request.