Course helping BCSO employees better manage mental health crises

Bay County Sheriff's Office

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Local law enforcement staff learned to better manage mental health crises with the help of a special course.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with Big Bend Community Based Care for ‘Mental Health First Aid,’ an eight-hour entry-level class that teaches non-mental health trained professionals how to handle a mental health crisis.

Non-sworn employees of the Sheriff’s Office, such as receptionists, took the course and learned about proper mental health care.

“By doing classes like this and exposing people to mental health and how to respond to crises involving mental health and substance use, the goal is to reduce stigma that’s associated with it so folks feel comfortable to reach out and ask for help,” said Ann Wing, Big Bend Community Based Care network coordinator.

Wing added that a three-year certification will be given after the course and that they will continue to provide mental health assistance tools to the sheriff’s office.

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