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Fifteen First Responders Graduate from Crisis Intervention Team Training


Fifteen students recently graduated from Crisis Intervention Team training held at Surry Community College in conjunction with Partners Health Management.

The graduates include Will Blackburn, James Brooks, Jessika Cave and Brian Nelson of Elkin Police Department; Andrew Goins, Kody Hudson, Logan Jessup and Dustin Johnson of Surry County Sheriff’s Office; Hunter Blose, Chandler Bodenhamer, Dustin Bowman, Katie Cooper, Bubba Killgo, Zack Murphy and Cecilia Thoppil of Surry County Emergency Medical Services.

The course ran for a total of 40 hours over five days. The students covered topics such as adult and child mental health, substance abuse disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s, homelessness, PTSD/Vicarious Trauma in veterans, de-escalation tactics, N.C. Harm Reduction Program, officer self-care, and involuntary commitment process. They also received suicide prevention training and were introduced to the Mental Health Assistance Program, an alternative to jail or unnecessary use of the local emergency departments.

The first responders all gained hands-on learning by working through different experiences such as what certain daily functions feel like when experiencing auditory hallucinations, by listening to recordings played on an MP3 player similar to what people with mental health disorders experience. They also heard first-hand stories from people living in recovery with mental health issues or substance abuse disorders, as well as visited The Ark and Children’s Center of Northwest N.C.

Partners Health Management aims to give officers and EMS personnel tools they may use to better assist people that are experiencing a mental health crisis through this Crisis Intervention Team training. This is meant to be an additional resource and tool for them to help them notice and recognize patterns of behavior, and thus help people get connected to beneficial treatment and resources.

Partners has been a part of the Surry community for almost ten years and was formed through a merger with Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare in 2012. Partners is a Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) responsible for ensuring access to care for people who need services for mental health, intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance use disorders (MH/IDD/SUD) in central and western North Carolina.

For more information about SCC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Program, contact James “Jim” McHone, Director of Law Enforcement Training, at (336) 386-3292 or

For more information about SCC’s Emergency Medical Programs, contact Dr. Doug Underwood at (336) 386-3584 or

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