Both departments are developing mental health / crisis intervention training for campus police officers, which will cover several topics including crisis intervention, communication skills, identification of mental illnesses and severe symptoms. , access to suicidal and murderous intentions, as well as the coordination of mental health. services.
âThe counseling department is very excited to partner with the police department and be a part of this really important initiative,â said Thelma duffey, Chairman of the Counseling Department of the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA. âWe see this form of collaboration as a way to share our expertise and meet the needs of the community and the police service. “
Several professors in the counseling department volunteered to help lead the training, Duffey said.
âOne of our goals is to support the community and the police in high risk situations,â she said. âWe would like to educate law enforcement on mental health and crisis risk management, so that they are better equipped to serve our student body. “
This new partnership demonstrates UTSA’s commitment to the well-being of every member of the campus community, which includes establishing programs that will contribute to the overall well-being of all Roadrunners. It also connects to the Counseling Department’s broader mission of preparing competent multicultural professionals who demonstrate the counseling knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to enrich people’s quality of life.
âStudents have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Some are isolated and many have to adjust to a life much different from what they expected, âsaid Duffey. “We hope that officers will leave the training with a better understanding of the welfare issues people face in general and deepen their understanding of the particular needs of the student.”
Calucci added that he hopes officers who participate in the training will have a better understanding of mental illness.
âOur patrol officers may be called in for a disturbance or welfare check, and only then does the true nature of the call really become evident. Sometimes with these types of calls we don’t know they’re mental health related calls until we get to the scene, âCalucci said. âThat’s why I want our officers to go through this advanced training. They must be able to change gears quickly.