Increasing Mental Health Awareness in Our Community
Tuscaloosa County's nine police departments piloted the Remind mental health training curriculum in the spring of 2021. The original three-course curriculum has been expanded to include a new course dedicated to Communication & Active Listening. Completion of these four courses provides 6 CEUs for officers (the maximum online credits allowable through APOSTC for 2022). This unique and relevant training opportunity supports first responders with de-escalation strategies when dealing with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Remind's goal is to strengthen first responders' confidence in providing comprehensive mental health assistance and effective crisis intervention with reduced stigma.
This exclusive training increases mental health literacy and substance abuse awareness while highlighting diversity, equity and inclusion, communication, and intersectionality within the community.
Over 150 Alabama first responders have completed the Remind Training since its launch. Survey results show a significant increase in the participating first responder's knowledge of schizophrenia, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. Total scores of behavioral health knowledge increased after the training.
Law enforcement officers are now often placed on the front lines of the current mental health crisis gripping our nation. It is in the best interest of all involved for us to receive training in this area in order to better serve the public and to provide for the safety of all parties.
Lt. Craig Parker
Tuscaloosa Police Department
Corporal, Tuscaloosa Police Department
University of Alabama Police Department
Deputy/Paramedic Mental Health Officer, Tuscaloosa County Sheriffs Office
Sgt. Brian Guzewicz
Northport Police Department
EMS Chief, Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service
EMS Prevention Coordinator, City of Tuscaloosa
Assistant Professor, University of Alabama Department of Psychology
Fire Chief, Northport Fire Rescue
Lt. Craig Parker
Law Enforcement Advisor, Tuscaloosa Police Department, Commander - Behavioral Health Unit
Independent Law Enforcement Consultant
Rev. Dn. John Stewart
President and Family Support Facilitator, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Tuscaloosa
The research team comprises faculty and staff from The University of Alabama School of Social Work, first responders and technology specialists from the Center for Advanced Public Safety, and local law enforcement professionals.
Susan Jasko, Ph. D.
Project Coordinator, Center for Advanced Public Safety, Associate Dir. & Senior Research Scientist
Hee Yun Lee
Principal Investigator, School of Social Work, The University of Alabama, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, Endowed Academic Chair on Social Work and Health
Technology and Outreach Coordinator, Center for Advanced Public Safety, Project Manager
Cho Rong Claudia Won
Research Assistant, University of Alabama School of Social Work, Graduate Research Assistant