Law enforcement teams up with CMH for crisis intervention training

April 11, 2024

By: Lori Schummer, director of public relations and customer services, West Michigan Community Mental Health

In a proactive move towards enhancing crisis response and promoting behavioral health awareness, West Michigan Community Mental Health has teamed up with law enforcement agencies from Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties for the third installment of its Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) program.

The initiative, aimed at equipping police officers with essential skills for deescalating crisis situations and fostering empathy in interactions, marks a significant step forward in behavioral health advocacy.

Local law enforcement officers are currently getting trained in a variety of topics, including:

-Deescalation skills and strategies

-Reduce trauma that people experience during a mental health crisis

-Diversion to behavioral health care

-Increase connections to effective and timely mental health services

-Dispatching crisis stabilization services

West Michigan CMH recognizes the importance of addressing behavioral health challenges within the communities it serves. CIT is more than a training; it’s a community program aimed at building stronger relationships with community members and ensuring that everyone receives the support they need during difficult times.

Community mental health advocates like Pentwater Police Department Chief Laude Hartrum, Mason County Probate Judge Jeffrey Nellis and representatives from Corewell Health will be joining as presenters for the training. This critical work has also garnered support from local businesses. FloraCraft of Ludington, a community partner, extended a gesture of generosity by providing lunch for the CIT crew, underscoring the collective effort to support this crucial initiative. Many thanks to all our mental health advocates who are helping break the stigma.

The ongoing commitment to collaboration between West Michigan Community Mental Health and law enforcement exemplifies a proactive and united approach towards addressing behavioral health challenges, setting a precedent for effective crisis intervention and community support for this vital community program.


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