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Understanding the Crisis Intervention Team, (CIT) and How You Can Help it Succeed

The broken mental health care system in this country has increasingly led to families having to call first responders to assist their loved ones in crisis.  This is not ideal for individuals living with mental illness who are in crisis, their families, or first responders.  Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) offer a better path forward. Unfortunately, many people are confused about what CIT actually is and how it works.  When done properly, it can benefit the community (as well as your agency) immensely.  This presentation is for everyone in the community – mental health service providers, advocacy organizations, individuals with lived experience, family members, churches, hospitals, community organizations, courts as well as first responders.  Participants will learn how they can contribute to a CIT program.  Don’t have a CIT program in your community? No worries – this presentation will show you how to start and maintain a successful CIT program of your own.

Lt. Siewert Bio:

CIT Coordinator, Orland Park Police Department, Orland Park, IL. Lt. Siewert has been with the Orland Park Police Department for over 27 years and holds a master’s degree in criminal social justice from Lewis University.  He is a certified CIT coordinator, CIT officer, crisis negotiator and Mental Health First Aid instructor as well as a CIT role play evaluator for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.  Lt. Siewert started the OPPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in 2015 and has developed the program into what is now recognized as a standard for best practice. He has been a guest speaker at multiple conferences and various local professional groups promoting CIT and the One Mind Campaign.  Lt. Siewert recently worked on a committee to update the International Chiefs of Police model policy for Responding to Persons Affected by Mental Illness or in Crisis.

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