Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crisis Intervention Team Training Pinellas June, 2012

Today was CIT training! It was my once-a-year turn to speak to the police. I made jokes better this time than in previous years when the anxiety was overwhelming. Just picture it (well, okay I am putting pictures here but you don't see any police in them), one girl labeled with mental illness talking to 40 law enforcement officers wearing guns. And she says, "And then the voices told me to shoot myself." Yeah, I never thought I would get to this point. I am actually comfortable speaking now, and everyone who gave feedback said I did a great job, so that was really nice.

More importantly, Crisis Intervention Team training teaches law enforcement officers how to respond when people are in crises, and it decreases shootings. Research has shown this to be true.

A hostage negotiator asked me how to talk someone out of psychosis, and I explained that, well, you can't. I'm afraid I don't know what you can do if you're a hostage negotiator and you're talking to someone with hostages who is hearing voices, but what I said was that he could try talking very calmly and ask them to listen to his voice and focus on what he was saying rather than the other voices.

Do you have any advice for police officers who deal with people with mental illnesses or other crises? Feel free to leave a comment and share!

I am slightly disappointed my dad is in the Bahamas right now with a large portion of my family except three of us who were ceremoniously not invited because we're not perfect enough for our dad, and I'm more than a little worried about Social Security, and yes, I am still hearing things. But I'm happy I talked to the police today, and they were an attentive and receptive audience.

Long live CIT!

Also, Episodes of Schizophrenia by Jessica Leach and Jennifer (me) will (hopefully) be published by Chipmunka in the future. It's the graphic novel based on my life that I mentioned here before.

I am being interviewed for a website called trialx.com/curetalk where this blog has been mentioned before.

I got an email telling me about this video: There is a Fault in Reality. I haven't watched it but it sounds interesting though controversial. My computer is too slow for films.


  1. That is a tough one about how to negotiate with psychosis. I guess all you can do is educate people on what psychosis is so they get that they are talking to someone who is living in a alternate reality. When I was at my worst I thought the entire societal structure was different. It would be impossible to explain to someone.

  2. The work you do with the police is so amazing, and so necessary! I am glad there are people like you out there helping them to help others. I am sure they are very appreciative of the input.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  3. They say that number one fear amongst the population is public speaking...with death being number two. So in other words by just getting up and speaking in front of all those people, never mind that you already have a personality disorder and sharing something very personal, you are doing something that many people would rather be dead than doing! I appluad you! You are making a difference where it matters most. Bet no one who is in the Bahamas right now could manage that :)

  4. I read your interview on CureTalk. I can't express adequately what it meant to me to read your interview. My son is 22 and currently hospitalized with his first psychotic break. He's strong, I'm his staunch supporter (think Mama Bear, lol) and I've found resources at Nami. He has a good Dr. and I'm working on getting his support services in place. He was 6 months away from a bachelor's degree in social work when this struck and I'm confident he will finish and graduate at his own pace. Thank you for sharing. When he comes home and is able I plan to share your interview with him.


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