What is happening to our climate? Why all the sudden changes in our weather? Last year we had a severe drought while other areas in the U.S. were experiencing floods. Remember Sandy, the largest ever Atlantic Tropical with winds stretching 1,100 miles and all the flooding on the east coast? In the beginning of 2012 much of the United Kingdom experienced droughts and a heat wave in March. Flooding in Great Britain and Ireland brought the wettest April they had seen in over a hundred years.
It is scary. There are many tragedies and losses across the nation. Forest fires caused by droughts is an example. Nineteen firefighters died in what has been called the worst forest fire in Arizona history. What can we do? What should we do?
The July 18 Triad meeting will be about “Climate Change.” We will meet in the Anderson Mounds Mall at 10:30 a.m. In the theater area. Our speaker will be Paul Severance, founder of United Senior Action and served as Executive Director until 2006. Paul is also currently involved with Center for the New Elder which he is founder. Paul will put on a presentation about “Climate Reality.”
Triad wants to thank Dustin Ziegler from the Alzheimer’s Association for his presentation about how their agency has been working with first responders that might be victims of abuse or other crimes. We also want to thank Major Scott Mellinger of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for explaining about the Crisis Intervention Team training(CIT) that has been going on in Marion County and in other areas of the state. Major Brian Bell of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department gave a crime report on some local issues.
Also Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw gave a talk at the beginning of the meeting about the administration of the police department. Indiana State Police Detective A.J. Klettheimer participated. Also in attendance was Carol Davis, the Executive Director of United Senior Action(USA) and June Holt, our USA Traumatic Brain Injury expert.
The focus of the meeting was mainly about training that is available to law enforcement agencies about how to better understand Hoosiers that have some mental health issues. These could range from Alzheimer’s and dementia to Traumatic Brain Injury. Also discussed was ‘diminished capacity’ and ‘cognitive impairment’.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program seems to be one of the most informative and extensive programs around. The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) is the driving force behind this program and is pushing this in many states. The goal is to train law enforcement officers to recognize the symptoms of those with the mental issues I mentioned in the previous paragraph. A law enforcement officer with the proper training of De-escalation techniques can often defuse dangerous situations that can avoid danger to the mental health victim and others. De-escalation has also prevented serious injuries to law enforcement officers, family members of the mental health victims and innocent bystanders. It can be an important tool that could protect many of us.
Dennis Lanane is chairman of Madison County Triad. His column appears the first Sunday of each month. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.