Classes and programs offered at no cost to participants. NAMI Ohio and its affiliates play an active role in providing support and education to consumers of mental health services and their families throughout Ohio.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
CIT is a police-based pre-arrest jail diversion program. The program is designed to create a seamless link between law enforcement and emergency mental health services. CIT officers receive approximately 40 hours of training in areas including psychiatric disorders, substance abuse issues, de-escalation techniques, and in legal issues related to mental health and substance abuse. In addition, they receive empathy training from individuals with mental illness and gain exposure to the views of family members of those suffering from a mental illness.
NAMI Ohio’s role is critical in the establishment of CIT training programs around the state. Through grants from the Office of Criminal Justice Services and the CIT Coordinating Center of Excellence, NAMI works with communities in every phase of planning, implementing, and expanding CIT programs. NAMI works with its network of NAMI affiliates, local mental health boards and providers, and local law enforcement agencies to encourage the establishment of CIT training programs around the state. NAMI offers technical assistance that begins with the planning process and then maintains close and regular contact with the key stakeholders in each community to ensure that the program comes to fruition.
Once established, NAMI provides ongoing support to the community CIT coordinators. Currently in Ohio, there are over 70 CIT coordinators whom NAMI supports through twice yearly meetings in Columbus. The CIT coordinators also meet via an e-mail discussion group to address issues of program fidelity and questions posed by CIT planning committees. Since the program was implemented in May 2000, 4,817 CIT officers have been trained in 421 Ohio Police Departments and 64 County Sheriff Departments.