CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week and Cape Girardeau Police are working to be a resource for people in the community.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police started the One Mind Campaign and Cape Girardeau Police Department was one of the first agencies to join. Now, over 419 agencies have taken the pledge.
The One Mind Campaign includes training employees in mental health first aid and crisis intervention, partnering with a local mental health organization, and creating a policy for police to interact with people affected by mental illness.
Police said they receive a high number of calls for mental health help. But, after taking the pledge and partnering with the Community Counseling Center, repeat calls have gone down.
“There are so many people that are suffering from mental health issues but so few places for them to get help. And as police we are at the front line of just about every crisis or incident that happens in our community. And so it’s really important for us to know how to deal with that,” said Chief Wes Blair.
Chief Blair said the station will continue to evaluate how they can better help people with mental health conditions.