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North Iowa first responders training for mental health crisis responses

The Solution Point Plus' Crisis Intervention Training program provides key tools needed when dealing with people in a mental health crisis or a state of emotional despair, including those who may be suffering from manic depression or are contemplating suicide.

Posted: Sep 23, 2021 12:46 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2021 5:45 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - For first responders, dealing with people in crisis is part of their everyday job. This week, a Texas-based program is giving North Iowa first responders the training they need to talk to people in crisis, and also get the mental help they might need themselves.

Solution Point Plus provides key tools needed when dealing with people in a mental health crisis or a state of emotional despair, including those who may be suffering from manic depression or are contemplating suicide. The training, also known as Crisis Intervention Training, is a 40-hour course, and has a community-based model, with officers and deputies, nurses, victim's advocates and other mental health professionals in attendance. The training also includes roleplaying scenarios with attendees.

For Rebecca Barrett, who is a parole probation supervisor, the week-long course is extremely valuable.

"We're continuing to sharpen our skills, learning about crisis response, and continuing to work on de-escalating our clients that have mental health issues."

The roleplay scenarios are, by far, her favorite part of the curriculum.

"It's really teaching us how to hone those skills that we learn in the classroom, and then given critiques on how we do on our roleplays to get better."

Co-founders Jesse Trevino and Joe Smarro started Solution Point Plus a little over ten years ago. Both are U.S. Marine Corps vets, and base their training from their experiences with the San Antonio Police Department's mental health unit. The unit's work has been nationally recognized.

"We recognize that Iowa has a particular need. Iowa's in a progressive phase going from almost no resources to a lot, and we're gracious to Iowa because they keep bringing us back."
Both Trevino and Smarro have shared their own mental health struggles as part of the training; Trevino himself endures from PTSD.

"Within the classes themselves, we're starting to find there's a culture change. People openly tell their story, 'hey, I'm diagnosed with this, I'm on this medication.' We're starting to see a culture shift, but there's a lot of work to be done."
Trevino is proud of the program's impact.

"When we leave, within one month, we always have at least one story of great outcome, and they're proud to share it."

On Friday, attendees will be evaluated on what they learned this week.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926931

Reported Deaths: 9740
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1809132056
Ramsey749811054
Dakota68505591
Anoka64961589
Washington41119367
Stearns34021287
St. Louis29939416
Scott26281188
Wright26260226
Olmsted22677131
Sherburne19206130
Carver1687671
Clay12219108
Blue Earth1162171
Rice11578139
Crow Wing11318124
Chisago1005281
Kandiyohi9913108
Otter Tail9908130
Benton9174128
Beltrami8249100
Goodhue822699
Douglas7967101
Itasca779999
Mower740049
McLeod723384
Winona715158
Isanti711085
Steele695034
Morrison678681
Becker631675
Polk608987
Freeborn569947
Carlton552577
Mille Lacs539479
Lyon532961
Nicollet528561
Nobles527954
Pine521143
Cass505255
Todd496443
Brown473661
Le Sueur464736
Meeker437960
Martin391344
Waseca381433
Wabasha380110
Dodge366412
Hubbard357649
Roseau320532
Fillmore310115
Wadena306040
Redwood283845
Houston275317
Renville271651
Faribault261835
Sibley256017
Pennington254830
Kanabec254437
Cottonwood232933
Aitkin225052
Chippewa222043
Pope209910
Watonwan201121
Yellow Medicine189925
Koochiching179225
Rock178429
Swift174124
Stevens170211
Jackson162016
Clearwater159421
Marshall154822
Murray152911
Pipestone150929
Lake134124
Lac qui Parle124425
Wilkin122016
Mahnomen108314
Norman10579
Grant102410
Big Stone9585
Lincoln8915
Kittson74623
Red Lake71810
Traverse6086
Unassigned563124
Lake of the Woods5285
Cook3141

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 532160

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Unassigned64520
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
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