Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health, the Sheriff's Office, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness are launching a new Crisis Intervention Team program too better identify and treat those in need of mental health services.
In Mecklenburg County, 35% of people arrested in 2007 had a record of receiving mental health services and 83% of those arrested seven or more times per year had prior involvement with Area Mental Health.
Law enforcement officers are often the first responders to people with serious mental illness in crisis. Through the new program, selected officers will receive intensive training on identifying people with mental health issues and directing them to the appropriate treatment provider. Crisis Intervention Team training is a nationally recognized approach and is already a required training in many jurisdictions around North Carolina.
The first officer training in Mecklenburg County will take place August 25-29 with a special graduation ceremony on August 29, 2008.The public can learn more about the new Crisis Intervention Team program by visiting the
Area Mental Health Web site.