Adapting the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Model of Police-Mental Health Collaboration in a Low-Income, Post-Conflict Country: Curriculum Development in Liberia, West Africa
Am J Public Health
Objectives. We sought to develop a curriculum and collaboration model for law enforcement and mental health services in Liberia, West Africa. Methods. In 2013 we conducted key informant interviews with law enforcement officers, mental health clinicians, and mental health service users in Liberia, and facilitated a 3-day curriculum workshop. Results. Mental health service users reported prior violent interactions with officers. Officers and clinicians identified incarceration and lack of treatment of mental health service users as key problems, and they jointly drafted a curriculum based upon the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model adapted for Liberia. Officers' mental health knowledge improved from 64% to 82% on workshop assessments (t = 5.52; P < .01). Clinicians' attitudes improved (t = 2.42; P = .03). Six months after the workshop, 69% of clinicians reported improved engagement with law enforcement. Since the Ebola outbreak, law enforcement and clinicians have collaboratively addressed diverse public health needs. Conclusions. Collaborations between law enforcement and mental health clinicians can benefit multiple areas of public health, as demonstrated by partnerships to improve responses during the Ebola epidemic. Future research should evaluate training implementation and outcomes including stigma reduction, referrals, and use of force.
School of Medicine