Police, schools partner for mental health training

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) with the Fort Wayne Police Department, along with school administrators and educators are spending the week learning the basics of mental illness, active listening and de-escalation techniques.

Police in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools hope training cuts back on arrests of children in a mental health crisis.

The group will spend 40 hours in the next week learning how to handle a crisis and learning how to recognize it. The training also includes information about area child and mental heal systems and laws.

“When you deal with youth the difference is really no different,” School resourch Officer Liza Anglin said. “We know that 70 percent of youth who end up in detention suffer some sort of mental illness. And often times that mental illness or that mental health crisis is never addressed and students are detained for a longer period or for unnecessary reasons are suspended or expelled from school.”

Symptoms of a mental health crisis are often mistaken for delinquent behavior in school.  CIT for Youth aims at keeping children with mental illness out of the juvenile justice system by helping them get treatment.

CIT for Youth is brought to Allen County through the collaboration of FWPD, FWCS, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Fort Wayne, Mental Health America of Fort Wayne and Crossroad Child and Family Services, and with technical assistance from NAMI Indiana made possible by FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

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