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La Crosse staff training in mental health crisis

Drew Kelly

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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.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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    Trish

    January 23, 2020 at 6:37 am

    How can this be serious? The police aren’t qualified to assess, diagnose, or treat ANY illness! Remember-we live in a community blessed with two major and renowned health facilities with an extensive educated and qualified staff that deals in mental health. If you feel the need to educate city hall staff to recognize speech, behaviors and outward signs of mental strife in people this is where the ‘qualified’ educators are! This is like telling a bus boy they can charbroil, or a snow plow driver they can design a road, or an administrator they can design an elevator because they use it daily to get to their office! This is only going to lead to chaos and problems!

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