La Crosse Police teach hundreds how to help with mental illness

Several La Crosse Police Officers took a day to host an 8 hour class on mental health first aid training.

“The police department wants to be a part of the community and provide resources and tools to help everybody have a safe environment. We want everyone going home to their family members safe,” explained Lt. Avrie Schott of the La Crosse Police.

La Crosse Police teamed up with Better Together La Crosse to help satisfy a high demand for mental health aid trainees.

“The demand for this training was overwhelming. We know that mental health challenges are common in our community and throughout the United States,” said Diana DiazGranados, Project Evaluator for Better Together La Crosse.

Just under one in five Wisconsin residents has a mental illness, 5% of residents have an illness so serious it causes dysfunction in their lives.

“We filled capacity in just a few weeks,” said DiazGranados.

“It provides a background of the different mental illnesses that people may be living with such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia,” added Schott.

But out of all that was covered in the 8 hour session at Viterbo, experts say the most important takeaway was,

“The knowledge that anyone anywhere can make a difference in someone’s life that is going through a mental health challenge,” concluded DiazGranados.

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