BRANSON, Mo. – The Branson Police Department has been selected to lead a session at a statewide conference dedicated to mental health.

The Missouri Crisis Intervention Team, also known as MO CIT, Conference is a partnership with Missouri Behavioral Health Council, Missouri CIT Council, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. This is their 8th Annual conference in collaboration between law enforcement, behavioral health providers, and community members to improve the outcomes for those with behavioral health disorders.
Branson Police Department’s Regional Peer Support Team has been asked to lead a session for the conference.

“This gives the team an opportunity to share what they have learned through the process of creating the team which included bringing together numerous agencies that span two counties and multiple disciplines. The hope is that the peer support team will become a model for positive change statewide in regards to mental health and first responders,” says Skaggs Foundation Director of Community Relations Mindy Honey. The Skaggs Foundation has been funding Branson Police’s support team.

“This is not a common model that is used, so by presenting at the conference we can hopefully encourage positive change statewide when it comes to mental health and first responders,” explains Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews.

The department launched the Regional Peer Support Team in 2021. The team is dedicated to Stone and Taney county first responders and helping with personal issues and struggles associated with the traumatic events they respond to and manage through their careers.

“In just a matter of a few months, they are already making a huge impact. In year one, the peer support team was activated 17 times for individual and group crisis interventions, providing services to at least 46 first responders,” says Honey.

The MO CIT Conference is also a 40-hour training for law enforcement officers in the areas of mental illness, crisis response, active listening, tactical communication/de-escalation, and mental health law.