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Grant To Help Law Enforcement Identify Mental Illness

By: WTAP News
By: WTAP News

Law enforcement in Ohio will be getting some new training to deal with mental illness.

Sometimes it's hard to identify..

"I think we may mistake mental illness for some type of drug or alcohol," says Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

But mental illness has a large presence in Washington County.

"A lot of the people being incarcerated need mental help."

Help, many officers can't see. While there is training for law enforcement to deal with the mentally ill, officials say it's not enough.

"It's not sufficient for the problem that we have out there."

A new grant will help Ohio officers help others. 60 thousand dollars for crisis intervention education.

"We'll be able to send law enforcement officers to a training that helps us identify the different types of mental illnesses and how to cope with them."

Using practical methods to turn a potentially dangerous situation around.

"Just to be able to recognize when someone comes in to our facility or when our officers might arrive at a situation where there's a person there who seems to be confused."

The training is all about seeing the problem from a different angle.

"I think being able to manage a dialogue with them. If you know what they're suffering from, being able to converse with them."

The training is part of a 40 hour course for law enforcement throughout the Buckeye State. It's a community based collaboration between law enforcement, mental health consumers and providers, and The National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio.


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