Education & Support

Fostering Stronger Minds, Enriching Lives:
Explore AIGAS Education for Mental Health Services

AIGAS – Transforming Crisis Response

In the United States, the limited availability of mental health crisis services has placed law enforcement officers in the role of primary responders during crises. AIGAS is changing this by introducing Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, a community-focused approach to improving these situations.

CIT programs are now active in more than 2,700 communities nationwide. They create crucial connections between law enforcement, mental health service providers, hospital emergency services, individuals with mental health challenges, and their families. Through training and collaboration, CIT enhances communication, identifies mental health support, and ensures the safety of everyone involved.

The Benefits of CIT
AIGAS’ CIT programs promote collaboration among community leaders and help divert individuals with mental illness from incarceration to treatment, supporting their journey to recovery. This shift reduces arrests of individuals with mental illness and increases their access to mental health services. CIT programs also offer other advantages:

  1. Empowering police officers with better tools for safe and effective performance. CIT training improves officers’ understanding and attitudes toward mental illness. Notably, in Memphis, CIT contributed to an 80% decrease in officer injuries during mental health crises.
  2. Focusing law enforcement efforts on addressing criminal activities. In certain communities, CIT has reduced the time officers spend on mental health-related calls, allowing them to return to community policing more swiftly.
  3. Saving costs. While the exact savings from diversion programs can vary, it’s clear that incarceration is much more expensive than community-based treatment. For instance, in Detroit, it costs $31,000 annually to house an inmate with mental illness in jail, while community-based mental health treatment costs only $10,000 per year. AIGAS is making a difference by bringing CIT to communities, improving safety, and supporting those in need.