National Alliance on Mental Illness
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News and Announcements
BJA Releases Mental Health Collaboration Grant Program Solicitation
On Feb. 9, the Bureau of Justice Assistance released a grant solicitation for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which was authorized by the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) of 2004. Communities around the country have used these grants to create programs that help reduce unnecessary incarceration, and link people with needed services and supports; this is a great opportunity to get support for CIT in your community. States, local governments, American Indian tribes and tribal organizations may apply. Click here to read the grant solicitation. To learn more, participate in a webinar for applicants being hosted by the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project. Further information is available on the Consensus Project Web site; a list of past grantees is available on the BJA Web site. The deadline for applications is April 8, 2010.
CIT International Conference Updates
The CIT International Conference will be in
For more information visit the CIT International Conference Web site.
NAMI Bucks County Forms New Crisis Intervention Team
Contributor: Agnes McFarlane
After three years of advocacy on the part of members of
This represented the fulfillment of a dream of those of us who saw the need for the training and were always dismayed to read in the paper of interactions gone wrong. I wasn’t convinced that we could make it happen. We are just ordinary folks, but that dream kept us going.
We continuously visited and spoke with police depts. giving them information on CIT supplied by Maj.
We had to convince our
In July 2008, eight members of the Task Force traveled to
We convened meetings of stakeholders and garnered more
One additional component of the Bucks CIT program is the preliminary training offered. Police Chiefs and upper level administrators are offered a three-and-one-half-hour course covering the methods and objectives of CIT Training. In addition, patrol officers attend a six-hour preliminary introduction to mental illness and CIT training. Although these introductory sessions are not considered to be the full training course, they lay an important groundwork for success of the 40-hour CIT Training Program. All training has received good to excellent ratings from the officers. Stories are starting to come in of the newly certified officers handling situations differently now that they had the new perspective.
I received a lot of encouragement from fellow NAMI advocates and I have to be honest: it was a roller-coaster ride at times. I would just say to anyone interested in starting a CIT, "never give up." Just keep contacting people and presenting the logic of using CIT as an additional tool for police officers. They can’t turn you down with NAMI on your side.
NAMI Indiana’s 7th Annual Mental Health and Criminal Justice Summit
NAMI Indiana is hosting this year’s Mental Health and Criminal Justice Summit on Friday March 5, in Indianapolis. The summit will bring together leaders in criminal justice and mental health to learn about initiatives to improve the response to people with mental illness who come in contact with the criminal justice system. The summit will include workshops on CIT, response to returning veterans, keeping juveniles out of the justice system, problem-solving courts, and more. The keynote addresses will be given by Judge Steven Leifman, Special Advisor to the Supreme Court of Florida, and Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, Director of the Warrior Science Group and former Professor of Military Science. To register or learn more, go to NAMI Indiana's Web site.
N.H. Officer Honored for CIT Work
The New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Foundation recently awarded their Officer of the Year award to Police Sgt. Stephen Burke for his work in establishing the state’s first Crisis Intervention Team last January. The news story found on the Foster's Daily Herald online.