BLOG: Behavioral health and justice system trainings and opportunities

Categories: Blog, Featured News

police-officer-829628_1920Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) has worked to develop trainings and materials on our county behavioral health system that equip our partners in the justice system with the knowledge of how our system operates, as well as how to intervene when a person is experiencing a behavioral health emergency or is starting to exhibit signs and symptoms of a disorder.

Mental Health First Aid

Over the past year, StarkMHAR held 12 Mental Health First Aid trainings for Law Enforcement and two trainings for Public Safety staff on how to recognize various behavioral health signs and symptoms and how to intervene and get them to needed assistance. Staff who attended the day-long training received a three-year certification in Mental Health First Aid. During the training series, StarkMHAR staff also reviewed funded provider agencies and materials created to assist the justice system on how to navigate and connect people to needed behavioral health resources. Learn more about upcoming trainings for Mental Health First Aid »

Crisis Intervention Team Training

Crisis Intervention Team, (CIT), is a model to foster collaborative efforts that create more effective interactions among law enforcement, mental health care providers, individuals with mental illness, their families and communities. Within that model, Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center provides a 40-hour week of CIT training to law enforcement to improve officer and consumer safety and redirect individuals with mental illness from the judicial system to the healthcare system. Under the model’s 5-legged stool concept, it is important to ensure an accessible crisis system, community collaboration and additional training options for the behavioral health system, individuals and family members. Community members can ask for a CIT-trained officer in response to a behavioral health-related call for service. Officers trained in CIT and Mental Health First Aid understand how to work with those in crisis, de-escalate the situation if needed and provide options for the person.

Sample education and resource packet


Last year, 800 education and resource packets were distributed to our justice system partners. The packets include color-coded service provider chart, referral pad, general community resource brochure, overdose pocket pal and suicide prevention pocket pal. The information highlights the provider agencies and the services they provide to give quick, at-a-glance options and possible referral sources. The packets of Stark County behavioral health information help augment the material provided in the above mentioned trainings as a way to create a complete package of behavioral health knowledge and resource options. We anticipate that updated materials will be available by the end of this calendar year.

StarkMHAR looks forward to another productive year in our partnerships with the justice system – working together to identify ways to help individuals who are in both systems access the care that they need.

About Michele Boone

Michele Boone, MA, LPCC-S, CDCA is the Director of Clinical Services at Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery. She is a certified trainer in the Transition to Independence Process Model, Mental Health First Aid for Adults and also Public Safety, as well as How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses. Michele brings 22 years of experience providing various levels of management/administration for both for-profit and non-profit entities. She has worked in the behavioral health field for 18 years implementing evidenced-based/evidence-supported programming within the Stark County community.