National Alliance on Mental Illness
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News and Announcements

*****2010 CIT National Conference Tentatively Scheduled for  May 31–June 2, 2010 in San Antonio, TX! Stay tuned for details!*****

Washington DC Completes First Comprehensive Mental Health Training for Police

NAMI DC and its partners at the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the DC Department of Mental Health, are pleased to announce that the District's first forty-hour Crisis Intervention Officer (CIO) training was completed on May 1st.  Twenty-one officers graduated in the May class, and three additional forty-hour trainings are planned for this year. In addition to the forty-hour trainings, all new hires at the DC MPD are required to complete a 16 hour Mental Health Training that includes basic elements of CIT.

Leaders at NAMI DC credit Chief Cathy Lanier of the DC MPD for putting these vital trainings in place, and Steve Baron, Director, DC Department of Mental Health for establishing a well equipped Mobile Crisis Unit to back up the police officers and creating a "swift turnaround" unit at the Department's Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) facility. The program is expected to improve services and referrals for DC residents in need of mental health treatment. For more information about the CIO program, contact NAMI DC.

International Association of Chiefs of Police Hosts Summit on Police Responses to People with Mental Illness

In early May, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) hosted their annual National Policy Summit. This year’s topic was "Building Safer Communities: Improving Police Responses to Persons with Mental Illness."  IACP is the world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives. The summit brought together leaders in law enforcement and criminal justice, mental health advocates, community providers, consumers, families and other stakeholders to generate policy recommendations for law enforcement and all levels of government related to officer and community safety in the context of a mental health crisis. In the coming months, IACP will be summarizing the meeting and distributing a series of recommendations to their members and partner organization.   The summit was supported by the JEHT Foundation, SAMHSA, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Several NAMI grassroots leaders were able to participate in the summit, and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent consumers and families at this very important event.

NAMI New Jersey Wins Award for Police Training Video

NAMI New Jersey’s recently-released film, "The Community I Serve" has been awarded Best of Competition in the Educational/Instructional category for the BEA Festival of Media Arts. The film is a powerful tool for law enforcement trainings on appropriate response to people with mental illness. By portraying the experiences of both law enforcement officers and mental health consumers, the film presents real-life scenarios to illustrate information and skills that officers need in a crisis. For more information about "The Community I Serve," contact Phil Lubitz  at NAMI New Jersey.