What is CIT?
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Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training 

What is CIT?

CIT is a collaborative approach to support individuals in the community struggling with a mental health challenge or crisis. CIT is a program, that when effectively implemented in communities, has 4 goals:

  1. To improve safety during law enforcement encounters with people experiencing a mental health crisis, for everyone involved.
  2. To increase connections to effective and timely mental health services for people in a mental health crisis.
  3. To use law enforcement strategically during crisis situations – such as when there is an imminent threat to safety or a criminal concern – and increase the role of mental health professionals, peer support specialists, and other community supports.
  4. To reduce the trauma that people experience during a mental health crisis and thus contribute to their long-term recovery.

In order to effectively implement the CIT program in communities, a network of relationships must be developed by law enforcement, mental health providers, peers and family, and advocates in order to effectively produce a community-wide response and develop a robust crisis system. The intent of CIT is to build a system and community in which law enforcement takes on a supportive role to the mental health system and community resources.

CIT consists of core elements that contribute to the leading goals of reducing injuries to individuals and officers and diverting individuals with mental health concerns from the criminal justice system to the healthcare and mental health care system. This includes developing strong relationships and partnerships in order to develop systems and resources that meet the unique needs of the communities through regional councils. Developing policies and procedures at various levels to support individuals experiencing a mental health crisis or challenge. Implementing data collection procedures to track the effectiveness of interventions and resources and identifying areas of need or gaps within systems. CIT training for first responders, including dispatch and emergency medical services, consists of an initial 40 hour training as well as on-going trainings with updated information that target the needs of the area. The final component of CIT is recognition of the community and law enforcement responses and celebrating the work that is being accomplished by those parties. It is important that CIT recognizes the work being completed by the partners on the front lines, and the quality of life improvements being made by the dedicated community members.


More information about CIT:

 Core Elements of the CIT Program

CIT: A Best Practice Guide for Transforming Community Responses to Mental Health Crises

CIT Methods for Using Data to Inform Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide