Managing Encounters with the Mentally Ill

This 16-hour, two-day session focuses on practical solutions and interventions for community police officers to assess and manage encounters with individuals who are experiencing mental illness. Experimental and interactive activities designed to promote proactive management of situations in which persons who are mentally ill require assistance, intervention or diversion will be offered. Course content is presented without psychological, medical, or diagnostic terminology and is intended to provide straightforward information to demystify interactions with the mentally ill.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe and demonstrate ability to utilize practical interventions to manage difficult encounters with the mentally ill, including suicidality and the Baker Act.
  • Describe methods to assess danger and/or potential for violence in persons with mental illness;
  • Describe typical behaviors and statements of persons who are mentally ill and are using, abusing, or who are dependent on illicit drugs and/or alcohol;
  • Describe the continuum of community resources available to persons with mental illness.


Course Topics:

  • Myths about mental illness
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Behaviors and statements associated with mental illness and substance abuse/dependence
  • Violence and danger associated with mental illness
  • Practical inventions to assist and manage the mentally ill
  • Suicidality
  • The Baker Act
  • Community resources for the mentally ill and persons with substance related disorders.


Manuals and Presentation for Download:




Current Schedule

Register for our courses.


Select from core community policing, online, or specialized courses.

Stay Informed

Join our mailing list for news and events at RCPI & CPSI.

In Harm's Way

Visit the Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention web site.

Halt Human Trafficking

Visit the Center for Human Trafficking Awareness web site.

A Division of CPSI

RCPI is a division of the Center for Public Safety Innovation.