You're faced with a suicidal person, or someone with a mental illness, or suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), what do you do?

Local and visiting law enforcement personnel are undergoing crisis intervention training all this week at the National Guard Armory.

The training is being presented by the Missoula Police and Sheriff's departments, the Western Montana Mental Health Center and the United Way, and attendees include members of law enforcement detention officers, probation and parole officers, mental health professionals and dispatchers.

Crisis Intervention Team coordinator Ben Slater, a detective with the Missoula Police Department, is helping to facilitate the training all this week.

"Oftentimes our first responders encounter folks within our community who are in a state of escalated crisis," Slater said. "This class specifically focuses on those with a mental health need, like a traumatic brain injury or someone with post traumatic stress disorder. It helps give these line officers, social workers, detention officers, and other folks the skills and abilities to help bring that individual out of crisis, so that they can start directing them to services they need within the Missoula community."

The training includes classroom sessions, along with real-life scenarios where they will have the opportunity to put their skills into practice.


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