Sacramento librarians get special training to help those with mental illness


SEES PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, INCLUDING SOME EXPERIENCING MENTAL DISTRESS. WE FOUND ROBERT FUQUA AND LORA KONNERTH READING ON THE CORNER OF I AND 9TH STREETS THIS AFTERNOON. THEY’RE HOMELESS AND SAID WE WOULD TYPICALLY FIND THEM INSIDE THE SACRAMENTO CENTRAL LIBRARY BUT IT’S CLOSED ON MONDAY>>IT’S CLOSER TO THE LOAVES AND FISHES WHERE I GO TO EAT DURING THE DA THEN I COME HERE AFTERWARDS. GET IN ON THE COMPUTERS BEFORE NIGHTTIME HITS>>THE LIBRARY IS THE LAST REAL PUBLIC SPACE AND SO WE ARE OPEN TO EVERYBODY PROVIDING THAT SAFE SPACE ALSO COMES WITH ITS SHARE OF CHALLENGES, WITH SOME LIBRARY PATRONS DEALING WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.>>THEY’RE YELLING, THEY’RE SCREAMING AND THEY WANT TO GET EVERYONE OUT SO IT’S QUIET AGAIN FOR EVERYBODY.>>THERE’S KIND OF A GOOD WAY AND BAD WAY YOU CAN HANDLE ANY SITUATION, AND SO THE MORE TOOLS THAT WE GIVE OUR STAFF, THE BETTER OFF THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THINGS POSITIVE>>FOR SACRAMENTO PUBLIC LIBRARIES-PART OF THAT STRATEGY INCLUDES MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING, WHICH INCLUDES UNDERSTANDING, IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO SENSITIVE SITUATIONS. THE PROGRAM STARTED FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST WEEK, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID.>>IF THE LIBRARIANS SEE OR THE KNOW THE BEHAVIOR THAT THEY’RE TRAINED IN, THEY CAN STEP IN AND SAY WHAT’S THE PROBLEM AND HELP THAT PERSON.>>THE TRAINING ISN’T MANDATORY FOR LIBRARIANS. BUT BY THE END OF THE YEAR, THEY HOPE TO HAVE AT LEAST 50 PEOPLE TRAINED. A UNIQUE TASK FORCE, SKILLED WITH HELPING THE PUBLIC, BEYOND

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