One in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness.
On Wednesday, city staff got a crash course from the La Crosse Police Department in recognizing symptoms and how to help.
“It was a good collective discussion about what those things mean and then ways, as individuals,” La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said, “that we can help identify when someone might be experiencing those issues as well as tools to try to help de-escalate or to calm the situation.”
Kabat said he realized, throughout the day, you don’t have to be an expert to make a difference to someone struggling.
“A relative or a friend or acquaintance, I think we’re all seeing issues revolving around mental illness,” Kabat said. “If we can get better information and better educate ourselves, I think we can all be part of that solution.”
Kabat, who says the cloud of stigma must end, adds that they plan on more training in the future for the entire city staff.