TAKING THE LEAD Police & agencies work closely to help people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. – February 1-2, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

TAKING THE LEAD Police & agencies work closely to help people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. – February 1-2, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – City police, OPP officers, EMS paramedics and Emergency Room nurses  along with 30 other local professionals are taking part in award winning training today and tomorrow (February 1 & 2) at the Ramada Inn. The LEAD training, a recipient of the Excellence Award at the Champlain and Southeast Region Crisis Conference, is modeled on a training program originating in Memphis, Tennessee and brings together first responders (like police and paramedics), nurses, doctors and other professionals to learn how to provide the best possible response in incidents involving people who have a mental illness, intellectual disability or both.
First implemented locally in Lanark County, this is the third annual training session for the City of Cornwall and in S.D. & G.
“This type of training is crucial for our community,” says Sgt. Thom Racine, of the Cornwall Community Police Service, who co-facilitates the event along with Melody Crites, Manager Inpatient Psychiatric Care Unit and Manager Resource Team at the Cornwall Community Hospital.  “It stands apart from other training because of its consistent approach to joining together first responders from a variety of sectors. This allows for true collaboration often at times when it is needed most.”

The key to the training program’s success is the involvement of all professionals who find themselves dealing with people who have either a mental illness, an intellectual disability or both and have encounters with the law.  The LEAD training allows for representatives from a cross section of agencies and organizations to increase their awareness about the types of situations facing our officers. At the same time, the officers take away from the training an inventory of options to help them better respond in such situations. It is a win-win for our community.

The LEAD Team training fosters collaboration between community professionals and  members of the criminal justice system.  Contributors of the Third Annual S.D.G. LEAD Team Training include the Cornwall Community Hospital, Ontario Provincial Police, SDG Detachment, Cornwall Community Police Service, Cornwall SDG Emergency Services and the Eastern Ontario Network for Specialized Care.
LEAD is an acronym which stands for Local Police Services, Emergency Department, Ambulance Services, Diversion Programs and highlights not only the needed collaboration between the professionals involved in such situations but also addresses the process from the initial contact to the court process.

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