Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Mental Health Awareness & De-escalation Training for Police/Fire/EMS​

Eight NH State Troopers in a classroom listening to a presenter.

NAMI New Hampshire is presenting the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program to law enforcement and first responders in NH began as part of a 3-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). We are now in the beginning of an expansion grant that will allow us to continue to deliver CIT to our first responders for five years. We are also working with the Police Standards and Training Council to deliver four CIT programs. We will also be delivering CIT refresher classes for any law enforcement that have been previously trained.

The 40-hour CIT program originated in 1988 in Memphis, TN after an officer-involved shooting of an individual with mental illness. CIT highlights best practices, improves community partnerships, and helps communities develop processes to serve people affected by mental illness with respect and dignity.

CIT History, Updates, and Outcomes

Is CIT Evidence Based?

Participants from the September 2022 CIT Program
12 DOC staff graduated the latest Crisis Intervention Team Program made possible by Commissioner Helen Hanks at the NH Department of Corrections and Julianne Carbin at the Bureau of Mental Health Services for partnering with NAMI New Hampshire.
Dog sitting in a chair with its head on a table.
Anthem the Arson Dog joined her handler, NH Fire Marshal’s Office’s Fire Investigator Adam Fanjoy at April’s 40 hour CIT Program!
A group of law enforcement personnel in front of a Conway PD logo
Participants, including arson dog Reeves, from the June 2023 Conway CIT session.

NH CIT Program Feedback

Topics covered during the 40-hour trainings include:

  • Rights and Civil Commitment Laws, Mental Health/Drug Courts
  • Disabilities
  • Suicide Intervention
  • Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Forms of Dementia
  • Borderline Personality Disorders
  • PTS, Veterans, and Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Child & Adolescent Mental Health Issues
  • Substance Use and Co-occurring Disorders
  • Cultural Issues, Resettlement Areas, and Approaching Mental Illness
  • Introduction to Verbal Techniques
  • Stages of Escalating Crisis
  • Basic De-escalation and Intervention Strategies
  • Advanced Verbal Techniques
Former NAMI NH Exec. Dir. Ken Norton pictured with CIT Founder Maj. Sam Cochran

In addition to in-classroom training, participants also visit community locations like New Hampshire Hospital and community mental health centers. NAMI New Hampshire is conducting several trainings over the 3-year project period.

Through the Crisis Intervention Training for New Hampshire’s First Responders Project, NAMI New Hampshire and its partners will train 435 NH State Police (NHSP) and Fire/Emergency Medical Services personnel (Fire/EMS) to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness, provide them with the skills to effectively de-escalate situations and make appropriate referrals to community mental health services in order to ensure the safety of individuals with mental illness, First Responders and the general public.

WMUR - NH first responders learn how to help people in mental health crisis

Mental Health First Aid for CIT

On December 1, 2022 NAMI NH certified 15 new Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) in our first responder community.

WHY MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID? Mental Health First Aid for Fire/EMS/Public Safety teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care.

Mental Health First Aid for Fire/EMS focuses on the unique experiences and needs of firefighters and EMS personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their coworkers’ and families’ lives, and the communities they serve.

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety focuses on the unique experiences and needs of public safety personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their coworkers’ and families’ lives, and the communities they serve.

A group of first responders attending a Mental Health First Aid training.
Almost 10% of police calls involved someone with a mental illness in 2014. National Public Radio (NPR). Nearly 1 in 4 police officers thinks of suicide at some point in their life. National Alliance on Mental Illness via 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report. 1.2 million individuals living with mental illness are in jail and prison each year. Mental Health America.
In 2017 103 firefighters died by suicide; more than the 93 firefighters who died in the line of duty. USA Today. A survey of 7,000 North American firefighters revealed 27% have struggled with substance use challenges. NBC Washington.
The instructor and a group of first responders at a Mental Health First Aid training.


Upcoming Trainings

Registration is required for all of the sessions below. Links for registration are updated as they go live.

The programs hosted by PSTC are strictly intended for local law enforcement. If you have any questions, contact

Click here for information on reimbursement to NH law enforcement agencies for CIT attendance expenses.

June 2024

Law Enforcement
Location: Boscawen PD
116 North Main Street, Boscawen, NH
Date: June 24-28, 2024
Time: 08:00-16:00

August 2024

Law Enforcement/Fire/EMS/Any first responder
Location: Colebrook Fire Department
18 Pleasant Street, Colebrook, NH
Date: August 5-9, 2024
Time: 08:00-16:00
Registration for law enforcement:
Registration for all other first responders: Click Here

Five NH State Troopers in a classroom listening to a presenter.

For more information on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program, contact NAMI New Hampshire’s Susan Allen-Samuel, CIT Coordinator at

This training is made possible through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).