Responding to Situations Involving People with Mental Illness


The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Police Officer Standards and Training Council’s Field Services Training Division, in cooperation with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, is offering a (1) one-day training seminar titled “Responding to Situations Involving People with Mental Illness.” Instruction will be provided by trainers from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

The training session has been scheduled on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Police Academy, 285 Preston Avenue, Meriden, CT. 

The training will enhance an officer’s ability to deal with both adults and juveniles who are frustrated or angry and who may be escalating toward dangerous behaviors. Participants will learn about behavioral symptoms and how to assess and intervene effectively in situations involving people with mental illness.  The presentation will use lecture, videos, a simulated voice hearing (auditory hallucinations) experience, and class discussions.  It is specifically designed for first responders without previous crisis or hostage negotiation training, or Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained officers.  This course is not a substitute for officers considering advanced training as a CIT Officer.                                                   

This presentation has the following objectives:

  • Recognize the behavioral signs and symptoms of major mental illnesses and how concurrent substance abuse impacts behavior.
  • Recognize the names of commonly used psychiatric medications and describe what they are used for.
  • Perform an on-scene assessment to determine if (a) mental illness is a factor in the incident and (b) how to determine what intervention to use.
  • Stabilize the scene and effectively communicate using verbal intervention skills including conflict resolution and verbal de-escalation.
  • Obtain emergency mental health consultation and behavioral health information (according to CGS) from DMHAS.
  • Conduct a suicide screening and determine actions to ensure safety.
  • Document accurately using the Police Emergency Examination form.
  • Describe the experience of hearing voices that are distressing (auditory hallucinations) though a simulated exercise and identify effective interventions for people who hear voices.

This program is strictly limited to (30) law enforcement officers.  Please complete the registration form located on our website at and forward to the attention of Barbara Fullenwiley by email at or fax to (203) 238-6119. The deadline date is Wednesday, December 22, 2021.  If you have any questions, please contact the Field Services Division at 203-427-2622.

Students successfully completing the training will receive Review Training Credit as follows:

  • Curriculum Area 410:  Law Enforcement and Citizens with Special Needs  (5 hours)

There is no tuition for this course.  Lunch may be purchased at nearby restaurants.  Proper, professional business attire required.

DISCLAIMER:  The Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POSTC) makes every effort, within its ability and resources, to provide the highest quality, most relevant in-service training programs available at minimum cost to all Connecticut police officers and agencies.  However, POSTC does not provide legal advice, and does not endorse the accuracy or completeness of specific in-service training programs provided by each of its many contractors and training providers.  The materials and opinions of individual providers offered during the course of in-service training are those of the instructor alone, and do not necessarily represent the position of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council or the State of Connecticut.  Given the multitude of disparate factual scenarios with which law enforcement personnel are presented in the discharge of their official duties, students and sponsoring agencies are strongly advised and encouraged to seek the advice and counsel of their own legal advisors before implementing concepts or adopting specific measures discussed or recommended during in-service training sessions.