Mental illness or health issues are an increasing safety issue on American college campuses. Albany State University Police trained today to help them recognize deal safely with a student under crisis.
Albany State University Police Security Officer Corry Vanover patrols the campus, but the students are his main concern. "We have over 3,000 students on campus. So that's 3,000 different attitudes and 3,000 different mental states around campus," Vanover said.
Today the Police and their emergency dispatchers trained to be able to handle crisis intervention, especially mental health issues.
Major Cadedria Hill, the Assistant Director of Emergency Management said, "We need to be able to recognize the characteristics and the effects from not just the mental illness, but also any side effects they may experience."
Dispatchers got their first crisis intervention training today, because often a student in crisis will call out for help, and they want to know the students so they are willing to make that call.
"When they can gain trust in the officer, it makes it easier for them to pick up the telephone and call the ASU Police Department for help," ASU Police Corporal Michelle Clemons said.
And today's training makes their officers and dispatchers ready to understand if the student is in mental crisis, and how to handle them.
"This is somebody's son or daughter. We are blessed with having them on campus," Vanover said.
Eighty percent of the ASU Police law enforcement officers now are Crisis Intervention Training certified.
Officers learned that many students who have been on medication will forget or stop taking it when they move on campus. That has led to many mental health issues the officers need to be able to recognize.
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