Mental Illness Training: A Practical Approach
Certified Mental Health Training for Police Officers, Sheriffs and Deputies
Law enforcement officers encounter individuals from all walks of life, sometimes all within a single day. Officers are instructed to keep diversity in mind, which includes physical and mental diversity. However, physical diversity is easier to quickly point out—mental diversities are more difficult, which is why mental health training for police officers is essential to add to your department’s curriculum. While mental health is becoming increasingly more discussed, how much do you actually know about it? It may be surprising to discover that mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being, each of which heavily affect how people think, feel and act. As such, it also determines how people handle stress, relate to others and make choices—something officers must be aware of when interacting with or convincing a subject to comply. A critical lesson to teach, yet one that is not heavily taught nationwide.
As a mental illness training instructor, it is your responsibility to teach your officers to be aware of your community’s needs. This includes teaching officers how to recognize the signs of various mental illnesses via curated mental health training for police officers and knowing how to best interact with the subject for the best, safest outcome for all.
Science-Based Mental Illness Training for Police Forces
Research-Driven Curriculum on Multiple Mental Illnesses
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five United States adults have a mental illness. While this ranges from mild to moderate to severe, the fact remains: communities everywhere have members with mental illnesses and officers need to know how to connect with them. To help prepare and educate officers, VirTra created “Mental Illness Training: A Practical Approach”. This nationally-certified training is designed to be used with VirTra’s science-based simulators for the best learning. With this curriculum, instructors receive 15 training hours through ten lessons, corresponding slide presentations, class evaluation forms, tests, realistic video scenarios and more. The topics covered in this curriculum are:
• Mental Health & Mental Illness
• Crisis De-Escalation
• Trauma & PTSD
• Schizophrenia & Mood Disorders
• Neurocognitive Disorders
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Substance Use
How “Mental Illness Training” works is simple: after engaging in classroom instruction, officers can practice their new-found skills in VirTra’s realistic simulator. VirTra offers multiple scenarios that allow officers to put into practice what they have learned about each mental illness—helping instructors oversee skill development and minimize training scars from the get-go.
A Sneak Peek into Mental Illness Training Curriculum
See How Scenarios Work and Branch During Mental Health Training for Police Officers
Why This Curriculum Saves Lives
Real-World Examples to Prepare Future Officers
Nationally-Certified Officer Curriculum
Certified Curriculum Ensures Best Training and Skill Transfer
Curriculum can be the difference between a good officer and a great officer. To ease the instructor’s workload while simultaneously providing the best training materials, VirTra went through the effort of having our Mental Illness Training: A Practical Approach curriculum nationally-certified through IADLEST. IADLEST’s National Certification Program sets the POST training standard for 36+ states and works to improve training nationwide. By having our mental health training for police officers curriculum both POST approved and nationally-certified, departments automatically receive training hours when the curriculum is taught. Whether this curriculum is used to help veterans brush up on their skills or teach trainees the foundation, this V-VICTA® curriculum effectively prepares law enforcement members for potentially dangerous traffic stops.
V-VICTA — VirTra’s Virtual Interactive Coursework Training Academy — oversees all nationally-certified curriculum, including Mental Illness Training: A Practical Approach. Other certified curricula within the V-VICTA program include: Human Factors in Force Encounters, De-Escalation, High Risk Vehicle Stop, and more. All V-VICTA curriculum is free with every law enforcement simulator, saving departments ample man-hours and thousands of dollars. To learn more about Mental Illness Training: A Practical Approach and other V-VICTA curriculum, contact a VirTra specialist.