The Kansas CIT Association Takes Its First Step
The Kansas Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Association Takes Its First Step
February 23, 2018 (Topeka, Kansas) – Yesterday, representatives from 8 local CIT Councils around the state, including NAMI members in Douglas County, Wichita, Topeka, and Leavenworth, voted to create the Kansas CIT Association by approving a set of bylaws and electing its Board of Directors. Each CIT Council appoints individuals representing law enforcement, behavioral health, as well as peers and family members as representatives to the Association.
The mission of the Association is to represent communities in Kansas served by CIT programs, to promote strengthening and expanding CIT programs, and to improve outcomes for law enforcement officers and individuals affected by behavioral health crises. Purposes for the Association outlined in the bylaws are (a) to unite all established CIT programs and to assist new communities to adopt the CIT model, and (b) to promote working partnerships among law enforcement, individuals living with mental illness, their families and friends, the community at large, behavioral health service providers, courts, corrections agencies and other interested partners.
Among other provisions, the bylaws provide for individuals to join as Associate Members, including but not limited to individuals from law enforcement, corrections, courts, City and County and District Attorneys, mental health and addiction providers, advocacy organizations, Veterans’ agencies, peer specialists, as well as other peers and family members affected by mental illness. The Board will be considering how to engage Associate Members in the Association’s work.
NAMI Kansas is to have been part of the organizing process for this Association. Currently the Association represents CIT Councils in Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, and Wyandotte counties. The Association is aware of efforts to form new Councils in Crawford, Ellis, Harvey, and Riley counties and look forward to welcoming those Councils and others into the Association in the future. NAMI Kansas can provide information to other affiliates who are not currently engaged with CIT about how to get this process started with our law enforcement and mental health partners.