DCSO hosts public safety mental health training

State agency grant funds effort

BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is partnering with The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to present one-day local public safety personnel training on mental health awareness.

The Sheriff's Office received a grant from DPSST to provide this training to the agency and other agencies statewide, said Capt. Shane Nelson in a news release Tuesday. The sessions are taking place Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

The topics being covered:

  • Understanding the signs, symptoms and behaviors of mental illness and Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Strategies and approaches to addressing mental health calls.
  • Individual tools for communications in crisis situations.
  • Communicating with veterans in crisis.

There are instructors from Deschutes County Behavioral Health, DPSST and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Larry Blanton stated, "This training in an example of our commitment to be proactive in our attempts to manage our mental health population in Deschutes County. 

"We are in constant communication with the District Attorney's Office for those that have pending criminal charges and how we can best serve them as they migrate through the judicial system.  The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office will continue to train individuals that will respond to calls and incidents both on the street and in the jail, where individuals may be suffering from mental health issues."

DPSST Director of Training Todd Anderson said, "The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training is partnering with the Deschutes County Sheriffs' Office to provide Mental Health training for Law Enforcement in Deschutes County.  The multiple trainings that are being offered are a direct result of Sheriff Blanton's request to DPSST, to provide current, and relevant training related to the recognition and the de-escalation of those who are in a mental health crisis."

"DPSST recognizes the importance of these trainings that our Public Safety  communities in Oregon face daily in dealing with individuals through-out the State,  that experience a mental health crisis.  As Law Enforcement is often the first-responder to those in crises, it is imperative that we train our Deputies, Police Officers, and Troopers, and give them the necessary tools they need to respond to these incidents."

"DPSST has also awarded a grant to "Lines for Life," to provide suicide and de-escalation training, in Deschutes County this month.  "Lines for Life," currently provides a 24-hour suicide hotline in Oregon, as well as the national suicide hotline for veterans in mental health crisis.  This training again is being facilitated by the Deschutes County Sheriffs' Office."

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