St. Petersburg College launches mental health courses for law enforcement

St. Petersburg College on Monday announced a new program to train local law enforcement officers how to better respond to colleagues and members of the public with mental health challenges.

The three-semester curriculum includes six courses in counseling and interviewing skills, as well as substance abuse and family interactions. Said to be the first of its kind in the state, the program came about after the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association approached the college.

The union has seen a growing need for mental health intervention in recent years, Sasha Lohn, the organization’s general counsel and executive director, said during an announcement at the college’s Midtown campus…

Full story: St. Petersburg College launches mental health courses for law enforcement

One Reply to “St. Petersburg College launches mental health courses for law enforcement”

  1. Should we be using state funds to send police officers to college in order to learn more about mental health?

    According to an article from Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg college has created courses for police officers to take in order to learn more about mental health. These courses would provide officers with mental health training. This could potentially help officers in the future when working with a colleague who has mental health issues. This will also help officers respond to mental health calls.

    Police officers should receive mental health training, but it seems very out of budget. College classes are not cheap and the state cannot afford to have put all of these officers through all of these courses. Another issue that raised some concern was when would the officers be taking these courses? Would they be paid for the time and effort they put into these classes or will they just be a requirement with no pay? If they are getting paid this raises the question again of how this is all going to be state funded.

    On the other hand I will say that it is very important for officers to be trained for mental health. Whether that be to help out/ understand a coworker or helping them respond to mental health calls. If officers are going to be expected to act as mental health care providers they deserve some training.

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