Taylor’s Story

During National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts’ Advocacy Day, I had the chance to hear from a young man named Taylor who courageously shared a story about his terrifying experience with law enforcement as an individual with mental illness. Taylor’s story illustrates, in the clearest way possible, how important it is to train our first responders to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, to equip them with de-escalation techniques, and to provide them with appropriate treatment referral options.

This session, I’m advocating for legislation (S.1090) that would create statewide resources for comprehensive crisis intervention training (CIT) for municipal police departments and other first responders. Taylor gave me permission to use his story, and I invite you to read it to gain a better understanding of why CIT for police officers is so important.

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