Mental health first aid training offered to law enforcement officers

More than two dozen Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies gathered at the county’s training facility Monday for a mental health first aid training course.

The Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Service provided deputies with information on how to deal with and de-escalate situations involving people with mental illness.

Organizers say the eight hour course is hands on and interactive.

Organizers say law enforcement officers and first responders should be involved in mental health training courses because they usually the first people who come in contact with a person who may experience mental health problems.

"One of the things we do know is that in our country, one of the places where we see most people with mental illness are in our jails and prisons and so when we offer this to the general community, it certainly makes sense to have our law enforcement professionals introduced to issues related to mental illness as well,” said Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Service Clinical Director Elaine Rotenberg.

The organization has also provided training to other community leaders in the school district, as well as the city and county officials.

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