2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Increasing Mental Health Crisis Training in First Responders

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Jason Blomquist


Idaho has a lack of mental health needs, which is especially lacking in rural areas due to lack of services and resources. Using Healthy People 2030, one can find that social determinants of health in rural areas lead to a higher risk for mental illness and chronic disease, and was an objective needing improvement. Another link to mental health is interaction with police and first responders. Research shows that police and first responders have a high number of calls to mental health issues and police self-report lack of training in dealing with these issues. The Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) from the Boise Police Department is an example of how police can incorporate mental health coordinators to train officers and reduce law enforcement interventions. Funding of these programs and training can be accomplished through the Department of Justice (DOJ), consulting from Salt Lake City police department on their established mental health training, and implementing these types of changes as mandatory training like CPR.

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