National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Sneak Peek! Responding to Youth with Mental Health Needs: A CIT for Youth Implementation Manual

In the US, only about 20 percent of youth with mental illness receive the treatment they need. At the same time, research shows that 70 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have one or more psychiatric disorders, and each year, an alarming number of youth living with serious mental health treatment needs enter the juvenile justice system.  Schools feel overburdened and unable to meet the mental health needs of children; families don’t know where to look for help and law enforcement get called in a crisis.

Communities with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs are beginning to expand their CIT programs to better address the needs of youth. CIT for Youth brings together schools, NAMI, law enforcement and children’s mental health providers to address the needs of children and youth, respond safely to youth in crisis, or before a crisis, and prevent involvement with the juvenile justice system.

In July, NAMI will release Responding to Youth with Mental Health Needs: A CIT for Youth Implementation Manual. The manual provides comprehensive information and resources to help community leaders, including CIT leaders and those interested in CIT, to:

  • Build partnerships with schools, law enforcement and child-serving systems,
  • Identify mental health and family services in their communities, and think creatively about how to get more out of what they have,
  • Coordinate efforts between schools, mental health providers, families and law enforcement to get youth linkage with mental health services and supports,
  • Train school resources officers (SROs) and other law enforcement officers to safely resolve a mental health crisis and refer students to treatment; and
  • Ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the program in the long-term.

The manual will be released officially at the NAMI convention in Chicago July 6-9, but CIT in Action readers can download it today!