The Sandhills CIT Partnership (NAMI Moore County, Sandhills Center, Moore County Sheriff, Sandhills Community College and First Health Behavioral Services) will be conducting its next CIT class from March 13 to 17 at Sandhills Community College, Van Dusan Hall, room 103. Twenty-four Law Enforcement Officers have registered for this class.  Two more classes have been tentatively scheduled for August 14th to 19th and October 30th to November 2nd 2017.  The class is for forty hours over five days.

CIT is a pre-booking jail diversion program that is designed to educate Law Enforcement Officers and other First Responders on effective interaction with individuals who may be in crisis and/or consumers of the mental health system.  Incorporated in this training is the belief that a relationship with professionals of the mental health system, as well as family members of consumers, is crucial to providing the best possible care for these individuals as well as for resolving many situations that arise from their unique needs.  Instead of taking a person in crisis to jail, Law Enforcement Officers are trained to look for opportunities to take the individual to a location where they can get the treatment they need, when this course of action is appropriate.

Police officers are frequently called upon to respond to crisis situations, many times involving persons with serious mental illness. Historically officers who respond to these calls often lack any specialized training or knowledge in dealing with the mentally ill and their families. The resulting conflicts can cause serious injury and even death of the individuals involved.  In 1988, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model first emerged in Memphis, Tennessee

While the CIT program has many important elements to it, one of the most important is the interaction between consumers and family members who present their stories to the officers in the classroom.  There are two discussion panels on Wednesday of each class: one consumer panel from 9:45 am to 10:45 am and the other from the family perspective from 11:00 am to noon.  We have three consumers that have volunteered for the March class; however, we do need three family members who would volunteer for this very important opportunity.  If you are interested, please contact NAMI Moore County at 910-259- 1053 or email www.namimoorecounty@gmail.com and someone will get back to you.

Please consider taking part in this training – your participation could save a life someday.

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