Task Force Goals

Region VIII Mental Health Community Response Task Force

With the successes of the Northeast Delta CIT Program, the Task Force has created our own non-profit corporation. In addition to the CIT Program, the Task Force emphasizes all forms of service for persons with a mental illness. The role of the Task Force was and is to serve as a catalyst to improve the quality of life for persons with a mental illness in Region VIII.

Goals of the Task Force:

The goals of our Task Force include being advocates for:

1. Training and supporting CIT Law Enforcement Officers and Dispatchers.

2. Adequate facilities for the treatment of persons with a mental illness who are in crisis.

3. A jail diversion system for persons taken into custody because they have a mental illness and are in crisis. We believe that if a person in crisis commits a crime, they must be prosecuted for these actions. Their mental illness, however, must be stabilized either before or during the time they resolve their legal problems. This stabilization must be maintained or they will re-enter crisis in the future and nothing will have been gained.

4. Adequate outpatient treatment facilities and personnel to ensure continued evaluation, counseling, and compliance with the prescribed medication schedule.

5. Adequate housing, job training, and social services for consumers.

6. Building a coalition of individuals with diverse backgrounds to ensure the communityís mental health needs are met. Satisfying these needs will improve the quality of care for persons with a mental illness in Region VIII.

7. Reducing the stigma associated with having a mental illness. Through education, the general public will understand that mental illness is no different than other illnesses. "Stigma leads people to avoid socializing, employing, working with, renting to or living near persons with a mental disorder. This is especially true of a severe disorder like schizophrenia. Stigma deters the public from wanting to pay for care and, thus, reduces consumersí access to resources and opportunities for treatment and social services. A consequent inability or failure to obtain treatment reinforces destructive patterns of low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. Stigma tragically deprives people of their dignity and interferes with their full participation in society." (Mental Health: Surgeon Generalís Report, 1999)

SPEAKER REQUEST Please contact us if you are in need of a speaker for your civic group or organization. We will be more than happy to speak to your group about Crisis Intervention Team Training, the Northeast Delta CIT, and mental illness awareness and education. We will tailor the program to your needs and available time. You may contact us by phone or by email on our contact page.