TCS-LA Supports Local Community and by Offering Free CIT Training, April 11
Representatives from the Office of the Mayor, Department of Homeland
Security, LAPD, L.A. Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Corrections,
area SWAT teams, and others will convene at The Chicago School of
Professional Psychology’s downtown Los Angeles Campus for a day-long
Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) Conference on April 11. The free program is
designed to help first responders, public sector workers, and law
enforcement professionals learn new skills to identify and work with
individuals with mental health issues.
“By implementing CIT, it is our goal to raise awareness about mental illness and improve relationships between government, social services, and community-based institutions,” said TCS-LA Professor Debra Warner, who is organizing the program. “Moreover, our aim is to decrease work-related stress and increase job satisfaction by giving individuals tools to recognize mental illness, diffuse potential conflicts, and re-direct people with mental disorder to the mental health care system when appropriate.” Dr. Warner has been presenting training on mental illness, treatment interventions and organizational motivation throughout the past decade. Her past professional appointments include the Department of Homeland Security and numerous forensic-based social service agencies. More recently, she as been granted approval to begin seminars with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and LAPD officers during roll call.
CIT participants will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of particular mental health topics in a lecture format that is combined with a series of exercises. Examples include suicide interventions, detecting malingering and psychosis, addressing paranoia, and interacting with an individual who experiencing PTSD.
The management aspect of the training will be similar to the clinical workshops, but content will focus on personnel, motivation, and practical information. Here, individuals will participate in exercises designed to increase work performance and productivity. Other topics will be interwoven with case studies that can be applied to the participants’ unique work environments.
According to Dr. Warner, CIT offers many measurable benefits. In the last ten years, for instance, researchers around the country have studied law enforcement agencies with CIT programs. One example is a University of Tennessee study that analyzed results from a CIT program implemented at the Memphis Police Department. In this case, the report showed evidence of decreases in officer injury, arrest rates for the mentally ill, use of force, violence and use of restraints in the ER, rates of mental illness in the jail, and the healthcare liability for incarcerated individuals.
“I have noticed that after giving a training, participants feel more empowered. It’s because they feel like they have tools to perform better in their job, or at least feel more confident that they are reacting appropriately to someone with mental health issues.”
Turning to the workplace, CIT’s focus on stress also has proved beneficial. The Bureau of National Affairs has reported that stressed employees are more likely to miss work both as a coping mechanism and due to health-related problems; workers experiencing high stress were more than likely to be absent more than five times per year; on average, every filed grievance translates into approximately 80 hours of lost productivity by the worker filing the complaint and by co-workers due to morale problems; 40 percent of employee turnover is related to stress; and interpersonal demands of working with team members and supervisors were the most significant cause of burnout.
Joining Dr. Warner for the seminars will be members of The Chicago School, Los Angeles Campus faculty. For more information about Crisis Intervention Training offered by The Chicago School-Los Angeles, email Dr. Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 615-7203.