PADUCAH, KY – For the remainder of this week, Four Rivers Behavioral Health is hosting training for Kentucky law enforcement officers in Crisis Intervention as it relates to encounters with those who have mental health issues.
Four Rivers Behavioral Health has hosted the training for the western Kentucky region for more than 10 years. “Training law enforcement to better deal with someone who has a mental health issue helps ensure they get needed treatment and does not necessarily become incarcerated. We believe it is part of our mission to help provide this important training,” said Terry Hudspeth, Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s CEO.
Crisis Intervention Training helps develop more effective interactions among law enforcement, mental health care providers, individuals with mental illness, their families and the community as a whole. The training of law enforcement officers builds awareness of mental health issues through education and outreach.
Following the training sessions, the Kentucky CIT Program maintains contact with local law enforcement and mental health professionals and encourages those groups to continue the conversation.
To keep crisis intervention in the foreground, Four Rivers Behavioral Health maintains a crisis team made up of law enforcement and mental health professionals. The team meets regularly and works closely with Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s crisis unit to keep the lines of communication open.
The Kentucky CIT Program began in Louisville in 2001. Since then, there have been over 2,000 law enforcement officers trained in the CIT model of verbal de-escalation, active listening skills and non-lethal weapons use. The use of the CIT program has decreased the number of injuries to law enforcement officers and the public in cases where someone with a mental health issue came in contact with law enforcement. Further, there has been a marked increase in the number of those receiving mental health treatment after encountering law enforcement.
Crisis Intervention Training has proven to be a “best practice” model for jail diversion of people with mental illness. In 2007, a grant was obtained from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services that enabled this life-saving program to be introduced to law enforcement officers in communities all across the Commonwealth.
Four Rivers Behavioral Health is a private, not-for-profit community mental health agency that for more than 50 years has provided comprehensive mental health, substance abuse and developmental/intellectual disability services to clients in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, McCracken, and Marshall Counties.
CIT Training will be held through the end of this week at Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s downtown Paducah office. To arrange a more in depth interview with Four Rivers Behavioral Health staff or law enforcement officers participating in the training, please contact J. Patrick Kerr using the contact information at the top of this release.