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Mark Anderson Receives Award of Merit Nov 16, 2016
Mark Anderson, Ex. Dir. of the BSF receives Award of Merit from Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau

From our Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Partners 

  • "In MN there is an excellent training program offered by the Barbara Schneider Foundation in Minneapolis.  Recently, in an effort to improve a very difficult situation at Rikers Island, NY, a group from there were sent to that CIT training.  This is a real credit to the Barbara Schneider Foundation, as administrators reported that they reviewed many CIT Training Programs before selecting this one as the most likely to be of help.  I'm sure it would be worth a week in Minneapolis to receive such a high standard of training,  The executive director there is Mark Anderson, whom we highly recommend as a training resource.  Agnes McFarlane, for CIT International,
  • "An important aspect of this training is it is taught “by cops to cops”.  Each CIT officer is trained to be a coach, with some even at the trainer level.   These officers are responsible for assisting in the practical exercises as well as the presentations,   This allows there to be specialty officers available for problem solving at the street level as well.  Collaborative training efforts are essential in this era of policing.  Community based organizations are crucial partners to police departments, yet many don’t know they exist."  Officer Maggie Beranek, Columbia Heights Police Department

  • "I believe that CIT training is essential training for all police officers and any first responders.   Having all the tools and training in how to effectively deal with persons in crisis is imperative to the safety and outcome of the crisis incident.   I wish I would have had this training many years earlier in my career."  Officer Joe Sturdevant, Columbia Heights Police Department

  • "It's arguably the best training that I've ever been to in law enforcement.   Two things were especially helpful.   One is the hands on practical exercises were incredibly helpful.   Instead of just talking about what to say and when to say it, actually using it there in the class.   The other portion that I found incredibly insightful was the first hand knowledge from the speakers with a mental illness, each day, who came in and talked about the stuff that they have struggled with, what it was like for them.   The fact that they are directly involved in the teaching is pretty dynamite stuff too."  Officer Dan Thill, Lino Lake Police Department

  •  "I thought it was very useful in increasing my confidence level on how to handle those kinds of situations when they would come up in my job.   Since I went through the class there have been situations with people who were fairly mentally ill and delusional and it really helped me take the time to just talk to the people and build some rapport and being able to help them through the situation without it becoming worse for them than it needed to be.  The most helpful part of the class was not just sitting in the classroom but getting a chance to use it with such realistic scenarios.   It's easy to get in a comfort zone when you are sitting in a lecture but when you are forced to do trial by fire it pushes you and makes you learn from it.  When you're on the job it's easy to get task oriented and have to get this done and this done and this done.  And to need to have someone comply with what we need to get done, to get them processed.   One of the points that stuck with me is just slow down.  Just talk to them and make them feel like a person and not rush through it and try to get change when they're not in a place to change."  Lucas Johnson, Carver County Sheriff’s Office
  • "One fellow is very schizophrenic.  About 6 months ago he came back into our facility hurting himself and being threatening to us and he was in a block and he was throwing furniture around and preaching to all the other inmates that were in there and I heard this was going on so I went running down there and literally all I had to do to make him stop was to open the unit door and call out his name.  And I said his name and he stopped what he was doing because we had such a good rapport because we had been dealing with each other for quite a few years.  He sat down and he was fine and we had no other issues with him.  They do remember when you do a good deed and they respond better to you the next time they come in.  He was quite mentally ill so he was a good example of when it works.  I had a guy who had a sheet tied in a noose and he went up on the railing and I caught him tying himself to the railing and basically all he needed to do was to put the thing around his neck and go over.  And I was able to yell his name and stop him.  When I talked to him later about it he said, "I knew you were watching me."  Your training is phenomenal.  Having the actors is so good.  And if a lot of the officers would experience the acting part of this, they would learn a lot from that.  It's just not the same as when you do this with people you work with.  It's so meaningful.   It's what we do every day. " Kathy Clemence, Wright County Sheriff’s Office
  • "Mental health problems, people coming in with PTSD and mental illness, is on the rise here in our facility.  With this CIT training we can look at the signs and symptoms and we’re at least able to stabilize those people.  And the actors that you brought in were outstanding.   They put everyone in a real life situation when they portrayed people that were suicidal, dealing with a lot of stress.   We were thrown in the fire with the tools to apply to them.  Your instructors doing constructive criticism, saying, maybe you should have done it this way or that way, it's like wow, I'm back at work, this is the real deal, they know how to push your buttons.  And the people who you brought in who talked about the mental illness they are dealing with, to me, is excellent.   I've never heard any negative feedback.   Everybody has said, wow, it's just amazing what we've learned, the tools we can take with us.  You wish you could go through it every two or three years.   All in all it's really outstanding the way you can apply it and de-escalate people and really show a compassionate side.  I was just very, very impressed by the training.   We have taken things from that training to help us in our jobs.   It re-organized our booking process.   People that have gone through the CIT training are able to de-escalate people and really take the time to talk to someone, one on one, what's going on? why haven't you been taking your medication?   That's some of the best training I've been to”.  Officer Keith Johnson, Carver County Sheriff's Office.

Card from November 2012 CIT Allina Healthcare class participants

From our Allina Healthcare Partners

"Thanks to all of you for your dedication to helping us with our paitents - and patience! We have learned much and our patients will benefit!  Many thanks." Your friends at Allina

"Thank you for a great week of training.  Your work is very important."  Jim

"Thank you for your tireless committment to a program that is second to none."  Jon

"This class exceeded my expectations.  I really enjoyed the practical exercises as well as the challenge.  I look forward to our continuing partnership."  Cyndy

"Thank you for making this available, "fun" and so valuable a contribution to health care and our community."  Rita

"I really appreciate all the time and effort you put in to help me do a better job in my life. Thanks."  Vince.

"I appreciate the experience.  I have taken a lot from these 5 days and we all appreciate your time."  Nick

Thank you so much for your time commitment to the Mental Health Community.  The work you've done has brought forward so many voices that I can hear.  Thanks. Greg


5/14/2013 "I work in a 40 bed mental health unit. It's like a crisis unit. Most people are there for a few days. De-escalation is something we have been working on for quite some time at Allina. I have used it in my practice. We had this patient who was really, really angry about some things and the doctor ordered some forced medicine and he actually barricaded himself in his room with a chair and some furniture. We could see him through a peep hole. We just waited. We talked to him on and off, and explained to him that we were still going to give him his medicine.

After about an hour he just opened up the door and allowed us to give him his little shot. We have learned to go slower about things, Don't be so wired up so you get in a physical interaction.

A guy was smashing a chair against the window. He had already destroyed the chair and was trying to break the pieces of the chair. We just made sure he wasn't hurting himself

or other patients or staff. We didn't used to have this tolerance. We wanted to control the scene. A person on ly has so much energy. They burn out their energy. You let them burn off that energy and eventually they will stop. That's how we have changed the most. We just let it play out more. We have had nurses who get in a serious fight over a patient having a can of mountain dew. Not any more.

It's better now. It's a culture change. This training was an important part of that cultural change. We are having less injuries among staff and patients. We are not just letting behaviors go uncontrolled. We are there monitoring. We want to make patients feel safer and feel that we are people they can trust and we aren't going to, a gang of people aren't going to come over and tackle them. The patients feel more comfortable because they see us respecting other patients and so they feel safer."

Jim Danielson, CIT Coach, Allina Healthcare


MHCRI Sr. CIT Trainer Randy Carroll receiving award from National Association of Counties 2011

Award from National Association of Counties 2011 

"The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Division staff continually strives to deliver better services to our county residents. Meeting the needs of a growing inmate population with mental health disorders has been a particular challenge. A program to introduce mental health awareness for staff, improve behavior management strategies, and provide mental health response and de-escalation training to staff who are confronted with volatile situations was begun in June of 2006.


The most significant part of the program was the introduction of crisis intervention team training into the detention environment in 2007, the first of its kind in Minnesota. More than 60 sheriff’s office staff have been trained and qualified as CIT officers."



Law Enforcement and Swat Team Negotiator

"What I can tell you is that over a career in law enforcement involving investigating numerous vulnerable cases, many of them with mental illness, 10 years on the swat team as a negotiator, and dealing with numerous citizens with severe mental illness, the best training I have received to deal with those suffering mental illnesses has been the CIT training and training from the Barbara Schneider Foundation.  That is why I’m as passionate about this training as I am. " Jon G. Christianson, MHCRI CIT trainer and coach

From our Disabled American Veterans

"Just watched the 8-hour training; boy is it accurate! That's really good training. Looking forward to working with you at a training. Just let me know when. Thanks for all your great information you put out at the trainings...there is help and hope out there because of what you're doing. God bless you! Many thanks. I'd love to be a part of helping people find some empathy." Cynthia Blesi, Disabled American Veteran who has been through the court commitment process, and tries to give back to society through writing and the Mental Wellness Campaign for Anoka County.

Read Ms. Blesi's published article "Foundation benefits local agencies with training on helping mentally ill"

From Our Policy Leaders



From our Labor Leaders                                                                   From the Minnesota Association of Patient Representatives




For additional references on the Mental Health Crisis Response Institute please contact Mark Anderson at:

The Barbara Schneider Foundation
2419 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone:  612.801.8572
Fax:  612.871.0432