Vermont Team Two leaders discuss training for mental health crises

Team Two is a Vermont program that brings together mental health professionals and first responders to learn techniques for handling individuals with mental health and intellectual disabilities.

The brainchild of Mary Moulton, executive director of Washington County Mental Health Services, Team Two training is offered in five regions in Vermont and is led by 38 trainers. More than three-quarters of police departments around the state have taken advantage of the training.

In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Montpelier Police Chief Tony Facos and Team Two Coordinator Kristin Chandler to discuss how effective training helps ensure safe responses to mental health crises.

According to Facos and Chandler, Team Two training consists of table-top scenarios to help ensure that all who arrive on a scene are on the same page when dealing with someone having a mental health crisis. Specifically, state and local first responders learn to assess what is happening, deal with the emergency, and de-escalate the situation in a way that complies with the law and responds to the medical needs of the individual in crisis — all while maintaining the safety of everyone at the scene.

Team Two participants learn to respond to a range of potential conditions, from schizophrenia and extreme paranoia to autism and intellectual disabilities.

Watch full episode:

Image courtesy of Vote for Vermont/ORCA

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