WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One-hundred-eighty-two Massachusetts police departments have doubled the overall number police departments that have pledged to join the International Association of Chiefs of Police One Mind Campaign in response to the increasing frequency of interactions between police and individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
The One Mind Campaign focuses on local communities, public safety organizations and mental health organizations so that the three become “of one mind.” The initiative’s overarching goal is to ensure successful interactions between police officers and those affected by mental illness and includes a commitment to train and certify 100 percent of sworn officers in Mental Health First Aid.
“The One Mind Campaign helps police chiefs organize their approach to serving the mentally ill by emphasizing policy, partnership with community service providers and police training,” said Chief Mark K. Leahy, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. “Not only have our officers told us that their Mental Health First Aid training was beneficial, we've seen the benefits firsthand in their response to mental health calls.”
The National Council for Behavioral Health offers Mental Health First Aid, an actionable public safety training program that helps officers better understand mental illnesses so they can safely de-escalate crises without compromising safety. The program also places emphasis on early intervention, diversion and referral to clinical support.
“The National Council applauds Massachusetts for taking this leap forward,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “As a police officer, knowing how to identify and respond to a mental health crisis can mean the difference between life and death. What Massachusetts is doing should be recognized and replicated by all.”
Everyone will be touched by mental illness at some point in their lives. Together, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the National Council for Behavioral Health are ensuring that every officer in the field has the necessary tools to save lives and improve the overall quality of life for people within their communities.
For more information about the One Mind Campaign, or to join the pledge, visit http://www.theiacp.org/onemindcampaign/. For more information about Mental Health First Aid, or to find a course near you, visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is a professional association for law enforcement worldwide. For more than 120 years, the IACP has been launching internationally acclaimed programs, speaking on behalf of law enforcement, conducting groundbreaking research, and providing exemplary programs and services to members across the globe. Today, the IACP continues to be recognized as a leader in these areas. By maximizing the collective efforts of the membership, IACP actively supports law enforcement through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs. By engaging in strategic partnerships across the public safety spectrum, the IACP provides members with resources and support in all aspects of law enforcement policy and operations. These tools help members perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, and safely while also educating the public on the role of law enforcement to help build sustainable community relations.
The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained. For more information, please go to the National Council webpage at www.TheNationalCouncil.org.