Our trainings and workshops are specifically designed for police and other crisis workers. If you’re unsure if you fall into those categories, please email training coordinator Jaime Baird at JaimeBa@thundermisthealth.org before registering.
To understand what makes an officer a candidate for becoming a CIT Officer, click here.
These are the full 40-hour training academies, designed for law enforcement and other first responders. They happen Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm and include breakfast and lunch. Please click the link below to register.
January 15th - 19th, 2024 (North Providence)
April 8th - 12th, 2024 (Newport)
June 10th - 14th, 2024 (Union Fire District, South Kingstown)
October 21st - 25th, 2024 (Location TBD)
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs are community-based programs that bring together law enforcement, mental health professionals, advocates, and other partners to improve community responses to mental health crises. If you are attending a CIT Training, this does not mean you or your department now have a CIT program. Officer training is a step along the way, not an end goal. Developing a CIT program includes revising mental health response policies, adapting workflows so that the appropriate resources are dispatched to crisis calls, developing formal partnerships with community partners in crisis response, and engaging your local community to ensure all CIT policies are informed, developed, and implemented by the people most affected by it. Successful CIT programs are implemented in departments with at least 20% of their sworn personnel certified in CIT; this ensures that there is at least one CIT certified officer available to be dispatched to a crisis call on every shift.
Here are some core elements of a CIT program:
• CIT is community-based- CIT improves community responses to mental health. It is designed to bring many different people together to problem solve and take responsibility for improving the mental health crisis response system- so that police and jails are not he default responders and locations.
• CIT includes people living with mental illness and their families- No one has a greater stake in the outcome of a mental health crisis than the person in crisis, followed closely by their family members. These stakeholders also have valuable insight into how the crisis response system works and what helps make it better. Only by engaging individuals with mental illness and their families can we build crisis response systems that people feel confident reaching out to in a crisis without fear of danger or incarceration.
• CIT brings partners together- CIT partners are equal decision makers who solve problems together, bring resources to the table, and hold one another accountable. Mutual commitment and trust are essential to strong partnerships.
• CIT focuses on the mental health crisis response- CIT is not just about how law enforcement responds to mental health crisis situations. It also addresses how mental health professionals and other supports are involved in crisis response. CIT examines how systemic problems—like outdated policies or a lack of services— contribute to crisis situations and develops solutions to these systemic challenges.
The goals of a local CIT program are:
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 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.
Every community starts out small and builds the program at their own pace. Many communities have very few resources and worry that they can’t have a CIT program if they don’t already have a robust crisis response system. This is not the case. Strengthening the crisis response system incrementally is a long-term goal for CIT programs. Reach out to the regional CIT coordinator in your area for support building a CIT program.