Mental health first aid class helps public safety professionals
LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - A seminar at the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus helped mental health professionals, first responders and law enforcement officers add another tool to their belts when they’re out in the field.
“Basically what it does is give them a bit of knowledge to approach and help those who might be in a mental health crisis. We want this training to be something that overlaps the training that they already have as law enforcement officers,” said Wade Johnson, who spent years on the Meridan Police Department’s Crisis Intervention team.
We’re told at least 10% of the calls first responders answer have some type of mental health issue at play. With this information, they can discern whether to de-escalate a situation or take another approach to the issue.
“When he or she arrives on the scene, the first thing they’re doing is assessing. What that officer does in any situation is apply training and what they’ve already experienced,” Johnson added.
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