Eau Claire (WQOW)- Friday, the Eau Claire Police Department spent the day learning how to respond to people in various mental health crisis situations.
Officials said this is the sixth year the police department has hosted crisis intervention training for law enforcement, dispatchers and jailers around the Chippewa Valley.
Eau Claire Officer Josh Miller said five behavior health nurses helped with the training, along with an actor pretending to be going through a mental crisis.
Miller said they host the training once a year, and said it prepares officers to know how to handle the situations they see in the field.
“As officers we’re trained to be problem solvers,” Miller said. “We want to come in and deal with a situation and move on because we have other calls waiting. Part of this training is just to remind officers to slow down to get down to the physical level that these people are at. Talk slowly with them take their time really understand what it is they’re going through and what is causing the situation that we’ve been called for.”
Miller said they have 30 people signed up for the free, 40-hour class.
If you are struggling with mental health issues, or know someone who is, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-8255.