Crisis Intervention Team, CIT, is a community-based program that promotes strong working partnerships between emergency services and mental health services with the common goal of providing appropriate intervention, care and support to individuals in a mental health or emotionally disturbed crisis.
The Lower Mainland CIT program integrates training components for police, ER nurses, paramedics, social workers, addictions counselors, and others to build stronger partnerships that continue to grow in their shared community. The goal is to bridge any gaps for service and to ensure that all mentally ill persons in crisis receive continuity of care from all services involved.
Video description: Police are re-enacting a scenario in a theater on handling people with mental illness, as well as interviews with various speakers.
The original CIT model was developed in 1988 by Major Sam Cochrane, Memphis Police Department and Dr Randolph Dupont, University of Tennessee. The CIT concept is also in place in a few Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Chatam-Kent to name a few.
After two successful pilots in 2004 and 2005 between Burnaby RCMP and Burnaby Fraser Health Authority, the Lower Mainland District RCMP took further steps to promote and integrate this program throughout the entire Lower Mainland of BC. This was done in concert with Fraser Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, BC Schizophrenia Society, Canadian Mental Health Association, and several other valuable partnership agencies.
CIT is offered to individuals who want to represent their agency as the resources for information on assisting a mentally ill person in crisis. Some of these selected personnel have an interest in helping the mentally ill, maybe a background education in psychology, or a general interest in the area.
Members of this select core group continue with their regular duties at their existing agencies and when a call for services comes in the CIT trained member will attend if available.
These dedicated first responders will proudly represent the Lower Mainland CIT program and promote a proactive image of specialized services to our communities and enhance service delivery to clients with mental or emotional health issues.