A Training for Law Enforcement and Mental Health Crisis Workers.
Team Two is a mental health crisis scenario-based training for first responders. It is funded through a collaboration between the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and is administered by Vermont Care Partners (VCP). Currently, 35 law enforcement and mental health crisis workers train their peers in the Team Two curriculum in five regions around the state. The Northwest Region captures Chittenden, Grand Isle and Franklin Counties, the Central Region is comprised of Washington and Orange Counties, Southeast is Windham and Windsor Counties, Southwest is Addison, Rutland and Bennington Counties and the Northeast Region is Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille and Orleans County. Participants include dispatchers, law enforcement officers, mental health crisis workers, EMTs, State’s Attorneys, emergency department personnel, and more. Team Two coordinator Kristin Chandler organizes the teams and the trainings and acts as a facilitator at each of the trainings.
Team Two has been recognized nationally for its innovative training model where so many disciplines are brought together to train together. Team Two has presented this model at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference, the National Rural Mental Health conference and to the RADAR symposium in Shoreline, Washington among others. The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed us down! We pivoted to offering interactive training via the Zoom platform and the response has been outstanding. Team Two has also partnered with NAMI-VT to bring the documentary “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops”, an HBO film about a specialized mental health unit in the San Antonio, TX police department, to communities in Vermont to raise awareness and foster discussions regarding police response to mental health crises. Bennington, Randolph, Burlington and Newport are all scheduled to participate in this unique discussion.