As Crisis Intervention Team Week drew to a close, Mayor Kaye Crawford congratulated the police officers and sheriff deputies who attended the inaugural 40 hour, week-long training. She said she wanted residents to know Salina has a crisis intervention team and noted the training will help officers intervene when they are dealing with individuals with mental health issues. She also recognized officers from McPherson and Hutchison, who had traveled to take this training.
Crawford specifically commended Lane Mangels, who works with the Salina Police Department. Mangels is one of forty individuals in the world who are certified to teach the week-long course. Mangels said he has found his niche and that Police Chief Brad Nelson has made Crisis Intervention Training a top priority.
Mangels, along with Cody Sparks and Shane Hudson, organized the workshop. Sparks said he hoped the training would give law enforcement “more tools they can use in their tool box”. He said that by completing the training, the officers “were taking the extra step in helping each other out”.
Many organizations and instructors donated their time throughout the week:
- Central Kansas Mental Health Center is where Sparks directs crisis services and supervises their crisis team; he has a Masters in clinical psychology from FHSU and trained in Family Systems Therapy at the Menninger Foundation. Glenna Phillips sees inmates at the Saline County Jail who have mental health needs; she also assists inmates with creating plans for what to do upon their release, with the goal of reducing recidivism. Rachelle Kelley served as a dispatcher for 12½ years at the Salina Police Department before joining CKMHC, where she works as a social worker. Kelley instructed on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and included clinical perspectives, officer suicide, and the law enforcement response to crisis calls. Joe Lobato instructed on treating kids with serious emotional disturbances.
- Central Kansas Foundation’s Harvey Hillen is also an Episcopal priest. He instructed on suicide prevention as well as stress from the officer’s perspective. Shane Hudson was an organizer.
- Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center’s Sara Jackson taught a session about how alcoholics and addicts “can and do recover”.
- Memorial Health Systems in Abilene sent Sara Boyd, who instructed on Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Mindful Matter’s Shawna Beckman has special certification in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy as well as EMDR. She co-instructed a session on the autism spectrum and de-escalation techniques. The other co-instructor was Rachael Smith, who is working on her clinical social work license.
- OCCK’s Melanie Brown-Hansen has special certification in “Positive Behavioral Supports”. She instructed the group on working with persons with developmental disabilities.
- Salina Police Officer Jackie Jones has been able to successfully de-escalate persons in crisis; she was most recently recognized for disarming a man who threatened to harm himself by simply helping him get formula for his baby. She instructed on law enforcement’s response to crisis calls.
- Assistant Saline County Attorney Nathan Dickey works primarily with juvenile offenders and children in need of care; he provided a legal briefing.
- Veridian Behavioral Health’s Summer Olsen provided an overview of mental illness and personality disorders. She also spoke on current trends in substance abuse. Her Master’s degree in clinical psychology focused on anxiety and how it is affected by relaxation response through guided imagery and meditation.
Attendees were particularly thankful to those entities that helped make the training possible.
- TALK Salina organized businesses to help provide treats for the morning and afternoon breaks. Of special recognition were: Dillons, Corkie’s Diner, Starbucks and Mochas.
- The Commissions of both the City of Salina and County of Saline each proclaimed July 18-22 to be Crisis Intervention Team Training Week; Carol Viar helped secure these proclamations.
- Long McArthur donated three 15 passenger vans that transported officers to Larned State Hospital; Mangels said the air conditioning added greatly to the officers’ comfort.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provided pocket reference cards individuals can carry with them; these cards outline reminders of how to deal with someone in a mental health crisis. In Phillip’s presentation, she noted that individuals in mental health crisis are often terrified. The NAMI cards suggest things responders can do when dealing with individuals displaying a variety of symptoms. NAMI can be contacted at 1.800.539.2660 or at www.namikansas.org.
- Fraternal Order of Police, Salina Lodge #58 was recognized as well as Salina Regional Health Center, KSAL, and KINA.
Greg Stephens, who moderated the closing ceremony said that landlords are in the “front row with dealing” with individuals who have “mental and social service needs”. He noted that TALK Salina has held two listening sessions that have dealt with mental health issues and criminal justice. He said TALK Salina “focuses on phrasing issues in neutral ways so all parties can come to the table” to discuss those issues.
Stephens hoped that additional law enforcement officers and members of the public would participate in future trainings.