Crisis Intervention Partners Class (CIP)
This CIP training is a 2-day educational class for non-law enforcement personnel. CIP training is encouraged for anyone who works with individuals with a mental illness, i.e. social workers, teachers, emergency room staff, security personnel, correctional officers and group home staff.
What Is a CIT-Trained Officer?
Crisis Intervention Team training is a community initiative designed to improve the outcomes of police interactions with people living with mental illnesses. CIT programs are local partnerships between law enforcement, mental health providers, local NAMI chapters, and other community stakeholders. CIT programs provide 40 hours of training for law enforcement on how to better respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis. CIT is not just a training. Effective CIT programs are based on strong relationships between law enforcement, mental health care providers, families, and people living with mental illness. CIT is a long-lasting, evolving partnership based on mutual goals.
The benefits of CIT include training officers about:
- Overview of various mental illnesses (symptoms, treatments, myths, and facts)
- Presentations and discussion with family members and people living with mental illness
- Education on de-escalating mental health crises safely and effectively
- Interactive role-plays on crisis de-escalation with feedback from trainers
- Other activities might include: auditory hallucination (hearing voices) simulations, site visits, ride-alongs with community social workers, and more
NAMI National also states that not only can CIT programs bring community leaders together, they can also help keep people with mental illness out of jail and in treatment, on the road to recovery. That’s because diversion programs like CIT reduce arrests of people with mental illness while simultaneously increasing the likelihood that individuals will receive mental health services. CIT programs also:
- Give police officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively. Research shows that CIT is associated with improved officer attitude and knowledge about mental illness. In Memphis, for example, CIT resulted in an 80% reduction of officer injuries during mental health crisis calls.
- Keep law enforcement’s focus on crime. Some communities have found that CIT has reduced the time officers spend responding to a mental health call. This puts officers back into the community more quickly.
- Produce cost savings. It’s difficult to estimate exactly how much diversion programs can save communities. But incarceration is costly compared to community-based treatment. For example in Detroit an inmate with mental illness in jail costs $31,000 a year, while community-based mental health treatment costs only $10,000 a year.
How Can I Request A CIT Officer If My Loved One Is Experiencing A Mental Health Crisis?
- Call 911
- State that the situation is a mental health crisis to the dispatcher. State your name and location, and describe in detail what is happening. Advise police if there is information on file with law enforcement about the person in crisis. Ask if it is possible to arrive without lights or sirens if this would help de-escalate the situation.
“I am calling because my loved one is having a mental health crisis. My goal is for them to get help, not to be arrested or harmed. My name is _______, and I am calling from [your location] because my [family member/friend + name] is ________.”
- Request that a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) or Mental Health officer respond to the situation. They may or may not be available, but it is beneficial to ask if they can respond.
“If possible, I’d like an officer with CIT training to respond.”
- If applicable, tell the officer if you know that your loved one has access to weapons, particularly firearms.
“My loved one has access to ___ weapons”
- If applicable, tell the officer if your loved one has made direct threats toward themselves (suicide), you, or others.
“My loved one has made direct threats of violence.”
- If there is time, briefly point out triggers that you believe could escalate the situation (speaking loudly, standing over the person experiencing the crisis, getting too close.)
“I want to make you aware of triggers that I believe will escalate this situation.”
- If there is time, briefly point out things that may prevent escalation, such as speaking softly, addressing concerns directly, and having a trusted person nearby.
“I want to make you aware of a few ideas for preventing escalation.”
- If there is time, let the dispatcher know what the person’s mental health diagnosis is, who their mental healthcare provider is, if the person is intoxicated or has overdosed, any current medications, and if the person is unable to care for themselves.
- When the officer arrives, state again that your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Be calm and cooperative with both the 911 dispatcher and law enforcement officers. Answer all questions completely and honestly. Give a written statement if requested.
While you are waiting for help to arrive, try to reduce the intensity of the situation as much as possible by speaking calmly, being genuine, asking simple questions, and offering options for ways to make them feel safe.
For more information, visit Chapter 7 in our Resource Guide at namiwisconsin.org/resource-guide/.
Where Are CITs In Wisconsin?
NAMI Fox Valley and the Appleton Police Department brought CIT to Wisconsin in 2004. Since then, hundreds of officers have attended trainings and many communities have formed their own local CIT programs.
NAMI Wisconsin has recently been awarded a CIT/CIP expansion grant to expand the philosophy of these trainings statewide.
Crisis Intervention Teams can be found across Wisconsin, from Racine to Douglas County. Map last updated: April, 2022.
Where Do I Go For More Resources?
For more resources, please explore the following pages:
- Ernie and Joe: Crisis Cops Q&A: https://youtu.be/ubPxWtqXhE4
- Mental Health Crisis Response Models webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JjS5x4ScrU
- Crisis Assessment Response Teams webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1BJzPG5wxQ
- CIT and CIP Core Agenda Topics: https://1vlihf36iej93pmxlr3a3o69-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2019/03/CITCIPCoretopics.pdf
- CIT Testimonials from cops: https://namiwisconsin.org/cit-cip/cit-testimonials/
If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or by calling us at (608) 268-6000.