MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Tuesday, emergency first responders in Moultrie received training on mental health. Specifically, how to talk to those with mental disorders.
When an officer responds to a situation where someone may be in crisis, many wear a bracelet that shows the officer has been trained and knows how to effectively deescalate the situation.
“CIT officers and enough of those who live with the diagnosis wearing them, that it can become that silent message. We understand each other, we’re on the same team, actually,” said Lyn Wilson, President of The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) in Moultrie.
Wilson said this need came after officers’ struggles with diffusing situations when the person had a mental disorder.
“There was a situation and the officers responded, as they had been trained to do, and the outcome was not good. We realized that CIT could make a difference if that happened again,” said Wilson.
Wilson said 1 in 5 people are diagnosed with a mental illness, and NAMI in Moultrie is now distributing these mental health alert wristbands to anyone who feels they need it.
Through training and meetings, Wilson believes future instances will be resolved more adequately.
“It gives them another tool in their tool belt. It gives them additional knowledge and what they’re dealing with,” said Wilson.
Over time, they hope 100% of emergency first responders will be CIT certified.