Earlier this month, representatives from the National Council for Behavioral Health met with several members of Congress, law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and academic organizations for two congressional staff briefings on Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Officers. This eight-hour course builds on the original Mental Health First Aid program for which the National Council took the lead in promoting, and is specifically designed for police officers, first responders, corrections officers, and other public safety officials. The program draws upon the unique experiences of individuals in these professions and trains first responders in the use of effective response options to deescalate incidents involving those experiencing issues related to behavioral health without compromising safety. In response to these hearings, Congressional Representative Ron Barber (AZ) stated:
“The Mental Health First Aid Public Safety Program is about giving our law enforcement the tools they need to improve their response to people experiencing mental health crises. Our criminal justice system is not an alternative to a strong mental health system, but too often law enforcement officers are the frontline response to a mental health crisis.”
For more information about the Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Officers program, including testimony from the two Congressional hearings held last week, click here.
Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety trainings are currently scheduled around the country. To locate trainings in your area, visit the National Council’s Find a Course page.