Crisis Intervention Response Team

As Miss International, I have made one of my goals to spotlight individuals and organizations that have made a difference in the area of mental health. Today I would like to acknowledge the Crisis Intervention Response Team (also known as CIRT or CIT). This team of people were formed to improve the way law enforcement and the community respond to those that are experiencing a mental health crisis. The team is made up of specially trained police officers and mental health professionals who partner together in order to provide the necessary actions it takes to handle those in crisis. Having these types of response teams have decreased the number of mentally ill individuals who were typically being taken to jail and are now taken to get the proper help that they need (i.e. Psychiatric hospital).

With San Antonio Police Chief William McManus

I definitely tip my hat off to those who make up these response teams that can be found all over the country. As a therapist, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to work with those who are in crisis and emotionally unstable. However, it is also such a rewarding experience to know that even if it was just for a few moments, you were able to help someone that was in need. In order to be prepared for any potential crisis, make sure to look up the number to the CIRT program in your area. It is often a different number than just calling 9-1-1. And the next time you see a member of our law enforcement or mental health professional, don't forget to thank them for what they do to to help keep us safe, both physically and mentally!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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