The relationship between mental illness and crime is complex – mediated by substance abuse and its psychoactive effects, as well as personality factors, situational factors, and socio-cultural factors. BJA NTTAC supports efforts to reduce criminal behavior and to address the health care needs of individuals with mental illnesses through interventions.
BJA NTTAC provides assistance to foster cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness, or concurrent mental health and substance abuse disorders, who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
- Working with a BJA NTTAC consultant, we provided the Peer Support for Public Safety training program for the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Police. The program gave peer support team members an initial exposure to crisis and suicide intervention, one-on-one intervention skills, working with small group skills, crisis communication skills, bereavement counseling skills, an understanding of the entire peer support process, and exposure to proven post incident debriefing skills.
- Working with one of our provider organizations, BJA NTTAC is developing a national curriculum for Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to assist law enforcement, who as first responders, commonly engage with individuals with mental illness. The curriculum will include student, instructor, and course evaluation materials. Additionally, the training curriculum will be piloted in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the subsequent course evaluation materials will be used during the pilot training delivery.