Thursdays with NAMI: What’s the best way to respond to mental health crises in the community?

September 29, 2022

The lack of mental health emergency services across the U.S. has resulted in law enforcement officers serving as first responders to most crises. What are some of the programs in place to help police respond appropriately?

NAMI has been heavily involved with Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). CIT is an innovative, community-based approach to improve the outcomes of these encounters. Other organizations have found alternative solutions – for example, Community Bridges of Mesa, Arizona. Join us for a discussion of crisis intervention models with Ryan Smith of Durham, Amanda Stamps of Mesa, and host NAMI NC Executive Director Garry Crites.

Amanda Stamps is an experienced retired public safety professional with years of managing a well developed CIT program and law enforcement training. Amanda – who was a presenter at the recent National CIT Conference in Pittsburgh – is passionate about getting proper support for first responders, so they are equipped to handle critical incidents. She has a master’s degree in education with a focus on counseling and HR from Northern Arizona University.

Ryan Smith is the Community Safety Director for the City of Durham, a role he assumed in July 2021. Previously, he worked on reducing poverty and violent crime and increasing economic opportunities for justice-involved Durham residents. His leadership led to the creation of the Durham Expunction and Restoration (DEAR) Program, landing him and others a national award for innovation in government in 2019. More recently, he has been on the front line of developing several pilot programs in Durham for responding to people in mental health crisis. He holds a master’s in public policy and a master’s in theological studies from Duke. This event is free and open to the public. Find us on Facebook Live or register here to participate on Zoom.