Help support Oakland Tech students in getting the OPD to set up mental health programs
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When it comes to mental illness training, police get little to no training. Some communities provide Crisis Intervention Team training to the officers. This CIT training provides useful resources for police, adaptive strategic thinking, as well as access to mental health professionals. This training can come in handy when dealing with someone who has a mental illness, however it can only be effective if the police officer can tell that they are dealing with a person that has mental health in advance. If police don’t realize this, the training won’t work. However, not all police get this training and help to deal with mental illness. Recently governments on the local and state level have been taking action to deal with the disproportionate amounts of people with disabilities and mental illness being killed by the police. In California, police are required to take at least 24 hours of training on how to communicate and deal with somebody with a mental illness. Many police stations are incorporating Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) into their regular teams. Some police stations that have implemented this include San Francisco PD, Portland PD and Berkeley PD. In San Francisco the CIT is comprised of police officers, mental health experts and advocates. In San Francisco there have been over 2500 SFPD employees who have CIT training. In Oakland the police department has also implemented the CIT programs. Police are normally responders to mental illness problems. Often the calls are from relatives and neighbors who are worried about a mentally fragile person’s behavior. The police aren't the best responders because they only know how to respond to this how they would respond to any other crime. If a mental ill person doesn't cooperate, police push harder and more aggressive, because that's what they are trained to do. About 19 calls are made to police everyday for mental illness. As a group of students wanting change, we want to make a difference. We want the Oakland Police Department to set up a system so when mental illness calls are made, people who have expereniced their own mental illness can be on the call as well. They can incoporate some parts of SB 906 which is an addition to Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). This addition "would require the State Department of Health Care Services to establish, no later than July 1, 2019, a statewide peer support specialist certification program, as a part of the state’s comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder delivery system and the Medi-Cal program..."(this was found in the bill). If you want this change to happen, sign this petition!!
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