How Family and Friends Can Assist CIT Officers
When a Mental Health Crisis Occurs
Mental health crises are extremely stressful for all parties involved. Some preparation before the crisis and some common-sense actions when the CIT officer responds to a crisis will help your friend or loved-one get the care needed as soon as possible.
- Find out if CIT is part of your police department.
- When calling for police assistance, ask for a CIT officer.
- Keep a current list of medications and doctors' names and offer it to the CIT officer when he/she arrives.
- Meet the CIT officer outside if possible and fully explain the crisis and what you would like to happen.
- Make the CIT officer(s) aware of anything you know that upsets the person in crisis.
- Keep all guns out of the home.
- When the CIT officer arrives, advise them if the person is armed or has access to weapons. Remember, when weapons are involved, police concentrate on the possible threat of violence until it is neutralized.
- Understand, the CIT officer(s) will probably ask you to wait in an area away from the person in a crisis. Let the officer do his job and only offer assistance if asked.
- Be prepared to go to the hospital -- but remember all CIT calls do not necessarily mean a trip to the hospital.
- Get to know your police department. Introduce your family member or friend to the police when they are not in crisis. Call your police department and have CIT officer stop by your house when he/she has time or go to the police station when a CIT officer will be there.
- Let your family member know the police are there to help.
- Educate yourself about your family member's or friend's mental illness by requesting information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) St. Louis' HELPline: (314) 966-4670 or visit their website: www.namistl.org
If you have any questions about the CIT program, feel free to call:
Sergeant Gary Robertson
St. Louis Area CIT Police Coordinator
7900 Forsyth Blvd
St. Louis County, MO 63105
Telephone: (314) 615-7117
Email: grobertson[email protected]