Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)

When persons experience an emotional and/or psychiatric crisis, law enforcement is generally the first port of call by the individual experiencing the crisis, family member, or community.   Of primary concern for all is that the crisis is resolved as quickly as possible without undue casualties and fatalities to the officer, individual in crisis, family member, and community.  Memphis, Tennessee is noted for the first Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) response program in 1987. 

Since the implementation of the Memphis program there are over 1000 CIT programs worldwide.  The International Crisis Intervention Team was formed with the purpose to facilitate understanding, develop, and implement CIT programs worldwide. (See Memphis Police Department Crisis Intervention)

CIT is specialized training that provide law enforcement officers with the skills, tools, and tactics to recognize the signs and symptoms of the major mental illnesses and persons in crisis and to effectively intervene and safely de-escalate the crisis.  The core content of the training includes topics on the major mental illnesses, symptoms and behaviors, and tactical intervention aim at de-escalation. 

The SCDMH and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill South Carolina (NAMI SC) have partnered to make CIT and Response to Psychiatric Emergencies training available, at no cost, to all divisions and jurisdictions of law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, communication operators, victim assistance and probation/parole/pardon agents. The training is provided in 2, 4, and 40 hour training classes.