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#BeTheDifference During National Criminal Justice Month

March is National Criminal Justice Month. When we think about mental health and the criminal justice system, we may conjure up images of prisons overflowing with people in need of mental health or addiction care, or negative – even fatal – interactions between police and people experiencing mental illness.

But thanks to increased awareness, advocacy and the hard work of organizations across the country, many law enforcement agencies are starting to get it right when it comes to policing and mental health.

This month, we’re focusing on progress around mental health in the criminal justice system by highlighting departments and agencies across the country that are using innovative strategies – like Mental Health First Aid training – to improve the way they interact with people facing mental illness or addiction.

Here’s how you can get involved and #BeTheDifference this month:

  1. Join a conversation. Chat with us on Thursday, March 29, from 2-3 p.m. ET during our Twitter chat on mental health and law enforcement.
  2. Read up. We’ll be sharing stories about mental health in the criminal justice system on the blog all month long, like this story (originally published on The Hill) about Massachusetts’ commitment to training their sworn officers in Mental Health First Aid. Be sure to share with your networks!
  3. Share information. Let your friends and colleagues know about the progress being made with Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety by sharing this short infographic and video on your social media channels.
  4. Tell your story. Have you seen Mental Health First Aid make an impact in the law enforcement community? We want to hear it! Email Erica Hoffman at for a chance to be featured on the blog.

As always, thank you for continuing making a difference in your communities.

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