Mental Illness

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Course Goal

To recognize and effectively process calls from a or about a person who is mentally ill.

A mentally ill person can be a threat to themselves, the caller, and responders. It is important to recognize common mental illnesses and their warning signs.


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) maintains statistics regarding mental illness. 

Over 45 million people in the United States experience mental illness during any given year. 

Mental illness may be hard to recognize on the phone. Listening for certain behaviors will help identify mental illness.


Course Documentation

  • Online Course Acknowledgement
  • Expectations for Online Students
  • Learning Objectives
  • Mental Illness Worksheet



  • Introduction.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Mother Devastated
  • Video: Mother Devastated
  • Knowledge Checkpoint



  • Statistics
  • Video: Mental Health Statistics in America (US) (Statistics, Facts, and Data)
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Types of Mental Illness


  • Types of Mental Illness
  • Video: Schizophrenia Simulation
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Warning Signs


  • Warning Signs.pdf
  • Video Transcript: Identifying Symptoms of Mental Illness
  • Video: Identifying Symptoms of Mental Illness
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Calls Regarding a Person with Mental Illness


  • Calls Regarding Mental Illness.pdf
  • News Story: Austin Harrouff
  • Video Transcript: Mother Calls 9-1-1
  • Video: Mother Calls 9-1-1
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Calls from a Person with Mental Illness


  • Calls from Person with Mental Illness
  • 911 Dispatch
  • Knowledge Checkpoint



  • Conclusion.pdf
  • Video Transcript: New Response to Mental Illness Calls
  • Video: New Response to Mental Illness Calls
  • Knowlege Checkpoint

Final Exam

  • Mental Illness Final Exam

Course Evaluation

  • Course Evaluation

About Your Instructor

Tina Chaffin

Tina Chaffin

9-1-1 Training Specialist

I have over 20 years of experience as a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator/Trainer. I have experience in PSAPs large and small. I am passionate about training and public education.

I currently hold the following certifications: 

  • Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Advanced Instructor
  • Texas Department of Public Safety Associate and TLETS Instructor
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Instructor

I have been providing continuing education training modules for Telecommunicators for over 5 years.

Learning Objectives

Recognize behaviors related to mental illness.

List statistics realted to mental illness.

Explain four basic types of mental illness.

Discuss warning signs of mental illness.

Discuss questions for callers reporting a person with mental illness.

Discuss questions and instructions for mentally ill callers.