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Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety— Three Case Studies

Police executives are challenged with providing effective services to the whole community served by their departments, which includes persons experiencing crises or mental health challenges. Training is certainly a key component in preparing officers to respond effectively to situations involving persons with mental health issues, and the greater their proficiency, the greater the likelihood of a safe and effective outcome.

The gold standard for such preparation is the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, but a new complementary evidence-based program, Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety (MHFA-PS), has been piloted and distributed around the United States by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.1 This program has been adopted as an 8-hour training for non-CIT-certified officers, either as a stepping stone to CIT certification or as required training for all new cadets.


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