Crisis Intervention Team honored by National Alliance on Mental Illness

Members of the Henrico County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and other county mental health employees have been recognized by the Central Virginia branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-CVA) for their work to strengthen mental health services to the community.

Eight employees of Henrico were among those honored April 20 at the NAMI-CVA annual awards banquet in Richmond.

  • Marty Shephard received the Mental Health Services Award for her assistance to CIT as controller for Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (MH/DS).
  • Rachel Shrewsbury earned the CIT Officer of the Year Award as the lead CIT instructor for the Henrico Police Division. She also serves on the CIT STAR (Services to Aid Recovery) team, which supports at-risk individuals in hopes of averting a mental health crisis.
  • Nicki Moon and Christy Parker of MH/DS; and Lt. Cindy Wood, Sgt. Dustin Eddington and Sgt. Donnie Green of Police were among the recipients of the Distinguished Community Partner Award. They shared the award as leaders of the Central Virginia Crisis Intervention Team (CVACIT) Coalition. Also honored were CIT staff from the city of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Hanover County and District 19, which encompasses nine localities in the Petersburg area.
  • Colin Connelly, a certified peer counselor with MH/DS, received the Members Choice Award.

Henrico established its CIT in 2008 to strengthen the care of residents experiencing psychiatric crisis. Supported by the Police and Fire divisions, the Sheriff’s Office and MH/DS, the team has been recognized as a model program in Virginia.

Among its accomplishments, CIT was one of the first programs in the country to include fire and emergency medical personnel when law enforcement and mental health professionals are dispatched to a mental health crisis. CIT also was among the first programs to teach all first responders the basics of crisis intervention.