In Training To Handle Calls Involving Mentally Ill, Atlanta Police Learn To See Bigger Picture
At first, many officers had to be ordered to attend. But they say they walked away with a better understanding of how to de-escalate situations involving someone with a mental illness. Advocates say there's still more work to do.
Atlanta Journal Constitution:
How Atlanta Police Handle Calls Involving The Mentally Ill
Agencies continue to work with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the National Alliance of Mental Illness to train officers how to recognize those suffering from mental illness, problems of addiction and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and autism. In 2004, a group from NAMI approached the GBI about bringing a national program to agencies across Georgia, Director Vernon Keenan said. He talked about the course during a recent event at Brookhaven police headquarters for NAMIWalks, a nationwide fundraising and mental health awareness program. (Eldridge, 9/25)
Meanwhile, Congress passes a measure to fund training for first responders —
House Approves Bill For Mental Health First Aid Training
The House on Monday approved a bill that would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to reauthorize mental health first aid training programs. The chamber approved H.R. 1877, the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015, by voice vote. The bill would reauthorize a grant program that trains individuals who are likely to be a first responder to a patient experiencing mental illness, such as teachers of police officers. (McIntire, 9/26)