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Press Contact: Byron White, Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5780

MAY IS NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, May 08, 2019) - Mental Health Awareness Month

This month is National Mental Health Awareness month.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 46.6 million adults in the United States face the reality of managing a mental illness every day.

On average, the Berkeley Police Department receives 8-9 calls per day that potentially involve a person in mental health crisis.  When calling for help, you can assist the officers by making sure to let the Dispatcher know:

  • What the person is doing right now
  • If the person has any weapons or access to weapons
  • The person’s physical description
  • Any past diagnosis or history of violence (if you know)

In 2012, the Berkeley Police Department began a program to provide officers training in Crisis Intervention—starting a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Today, all Berkeley Police officers receive basic training on crisis intervention and about a third of the Department has received the additional 40 hour training as part of the Crisis Intervention Team.

Berkeley Police Officers selected for the Crisis Intervention Team participate in a 40-hr class hosted by the Oakland Police Department in collaboration with Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. In this intensive, week long course, officers learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, appropriate medications and their side effects, use of verbal de-escalation techniques, and active listening skills.

In addition to our CIT program, the Berkeley Police Department works closely with the City of Berkeley’s Mobile Crisis Team.  The Mobile Crisis Team is comprised of Psychologists, Social Workers, Marriage, Family, Child Counselors and graduate student interns able to respond in the field to deliver crisis intervention services throughout the community.

 

The Mobile Crisis Team is available daily (11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.).  You can leave a message for them at (510) 981-5254.  For emergencies, dial 911.

 

Hotlines:

1-800-309-2131        Crisis Support Services of Alameda County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)            Treatment Advocacy Center

1-800-273-TALK (8255)                  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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