NAMI inspires crisis management training for law enforcement

Officers from the Edenton Police Department and the Chowan County Sheriff’s Office have signed up for training on Crisis Management as a result of an April 6 seminar that took place in Edenton.

The EPD officers are scheduled to take part in training this spring while four officers from the sheriff’s department will be headed for training scheduled to take place at Martin Community College in Martin County in June.

The event was co-sponsored by NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Albemarle, Vidant Bertie and Vidant Chowan Hospitals. The program took place at Edenton Baptist Church with more than 50 law enforcement and mental health professionals in attendance.

NAMI Albemarle President Betsy Johnstone of Edenton said she was deeply touched by the response.

“Something is really stirring here in Chowan County,” she said. “God is working in the hearts and minds of the members of our community to lift the stigma that continues to surround mental illness and to improve resources for those suffering with it.”

“The interest and attendance at this seminar should give great hope to those individuals and their families who struggle with the darkness and isolation of mental illness to know a light is beginning to shine in their direction,” she added.

Johnstone explained that seminars such as this one are helpful in providing access to information and training. This particular seminar, she said, offered presenters from the Mobile Crisis Team from Integrated Family Services and a Crisis Intervention Team sponsored by Trillium talking about how they provide services that can be used in stabilizing any kind of behavioral health crisis.

“This not only helps individuals who are in crisis, it helps to ease the burdens on our hospital emergency services and lessen the direct involvement of law enforcement,” she said.

Johnstone said the event not only provided a means for a large cross-section of the region’s stakeholders “to gain information about…

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