Mental illness training for cops effective: StudyIncludes role-playing, feedback from actorsBy Amanda Silliker05/20/2013|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/17/2013 In 2011, police officers at the Edmonton Police Service participated in a one-day training program on how to deal with individuals with a mental illness. Officers participated in role-playing exercises involving actors who represented various mental illnesses. The goal of the training was to improve officers’ empathy, communication skills and ability to de-escalate potentially difficult situations. “Police deal with mental illness on a daily basis — it is one of the highest number of calls,” said Peter Silverstone, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Alberta in Calgary. “Training police as to the best way to interact with the people they see frequently is a good thing, in and of itself, and there is also a great deal of misunderstanding about mental illness.” To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In Remember Me Forgot Password If you are a current Subscriber, please click here to set-up or update your login information.