CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) is a core part of Virginia’s effort to ease transitions for people experiencing a mental health crisis while they interact with law enforcement, hospital staff, and mental health care providers.
Many CIT task force members are engaged in Lock and Talk.
- CIT task force members give Lock and Talk education and thousands of free gun locks to the public.
- CIT law enforcement officers inform our program development and are engaged in suicide prevention training with our prevention professionals. We teach a Suicide Awareness component for the 40-hour CIT.
- CIT coordinators partner with Lock and Talk to bring national speakers to our first responders and mental health care providers.
- CIT partners engage firearm retailers in suicide prevention efforts to keep people in crisis safe from lethal means.
CIT Task forces exist across Virginia. These task force members have been a vital part of Lock and Talk in community education (including work on the Gun Shop Project), and they are responsible for the dissemination of thousands of safety devices to the public and educating people how to use them properly. CIT officers have prepared talking points on lethal means safety for the Lock and Talk program manual, contributed How-to videos for applying gun locks to firearms safely, and helped install medication drop boxes to limit access to drugs for overdose and abuse.
CIT task force members follow and spread the Lock and Talk messages
- Does the person with thoughts of suicide have a plan, and if so, what method? How can we disable that plan?
- Have they already taken any medications or alcohol?
- Have they stopped taking medications they need to be on right now?
- Ask “Who do you trust to hold on to your guns for now?” and be prepared to secure firearms if necessary.
Suicide Awareness for CIT 40-Hour Course
Lock and Talk offers a one-hour presentation for the Suicide Awareness component of the CIT 40-hour training for law enforcement, first responders, dispatch, mental health care providers, and other front line occupations.
Suicide Awareness in the Field (PowerPoint presentation for CIT courses)
- Recognizing warning signs of suicide thoughts for suicide in survivors, community members and fellow officers.
- Balancing of scene investigation requirements with consideration for family/loved ones who may be present.
- Notifying next of kin, including knowledge of available resources for survivors.
- Verbal intervention skills with suicidal individuals.
- Lethal means safety planning with families.
- The complexity of suicide-related grief.
- Strategies to encourage help-seeking, promote healing for survivors of suicide loss.
- Safe messaging recommendations regarding confidentiality in response to media inquiries and public disclosure of the cause and manner of death.
- Facts about “suicide by cop.”
- Facts about “suicide of cops.”
Resource for Law Enforcement Officers:
- 24/7 Hotline serving active and retired law enforcement officers and their loved ones.
- Calls will be answered by a Retired Active Peer Listener
- All calls and emails are strictly 100% CONFIDENTIAL
- Visit https://www.copline.org/ to learn more about their organization.