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CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today a sponsorship of $25,000 for NAMI Indiana, the state chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to support and expand their work with Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) in Indiana. The funds will be used to provide training opportunities for CIT coordinators at the state and local level while supporting established CIT programs to host additional classes, communities who are unable to host classes and law enforcement officers to attend another community’s training.

“CareSource knows law enforcement officers are often the point of entry into behavioral health and substance use services for individuals experiencing a crisis,” said Steve Smitherman, President of CareSource Indiana. “NAMI Indiana’s work with Crisis Intervention Teams expands our capacity for diversion from emergency room visits for behavioral health issues while strengthening the link to treatment.”

CIT is a community-based program designed to improve the response to a mental health crisis. It focuses on developing collaborative relationships between law enforcement, mental health providers and individuals impacted by mental illness. As a pre-arrest diversion program, the goals of CIT include increasing safety, decreasing the number of individuals with mental illness entering the criminal justice system, and increasing referrals to mental health services.

“People experiencing a mental health crisis deserve help, not handcuffs,” said Barbara Thompson, Executive Director of NAMI Indiana. “CareSource’s support of CIT will help people receive a mental health response, getting more people into treatment and away from the justice system.”

By supporting the development, expansion, improvement and sustainability of Crisis Intervention Teams, CareSource and NAMI Indiana can help Hoosier communities improve their response when citizens experience a mental health crisis.

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