State health department conducts mental health training at WPPD

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – All too often, law enforcement officers are the first contact for a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

And sometimes that mental health crisis can look like something else.

House Bill 1222, which passed the Mississippi Legislature in 2023, requires every municipal and county law enforcement agency to provide Mental Health First Aid training to officers, and it mandates that they have at least one crisis intervention trained officer.

Representatives from the Mississippi State Department of Health were in West Point conducting Mental Health First Aid training.

They said the education can better prepare the officers and also reduce the stigma surrounding mental health crises.

Mariesha Eason with the Department of Mental Health said this type of training is needed everywhere.

“Well, every state has a problem with mental health. So, I don’t want to single out Mississippi, but mental health is something we’re all doing our best to collectively, as the United States, moves toward. Mental health is something we are working towards, but there are mental health challenges throughout the entire country,” said Eason.

Eason said the Department of Mental Health prefers to treat in the community and keep them at home as much as possible, and most counties in the state have crisis stabilization units as an alternative to in-patient care at a state hospital.

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Categories: Local News, State News