The Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration works closely with the New York State Office of Mental Health to improve crisis response systems. The shared vision of the Institute and NYS OMH is to assist localities across the state in evolving their crisis response systems to be less reliant on law enforcement when responding to individuals in emotional distress and to help police be more prepared when called to respond to individuals in crisis. On occasion, the Institute conducts other work (independent of the NYS OMH) within New York State and elsewhere.
The Institute is directed by Don Kamin, Ph.D. Dr. Kamin is a clinical psychologist who collaborates with law enforcement, behavioral health system representatives, and other community partners to address the needs of individuals with mental illness and their family members through system reform, improved collaboration, and training initiatives. He has held a variety of positions at the interface of the mental health and criminal justice systems. He was also a Police Academy Instructor and assisted in the development of the first Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program in New York in 2004. Currently, as the Director of the Institute, Dr. Kamin is leading the effort to develop CIT programs across New York. He also coordinates a telehealth project that connects police intervening with individuals in crisis to mental health professionals via iPads. Institute staff and consultants have conducted related training and other projects utilizing their combined mental health and law enforcement expertise.
Dr. Kamin is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Roberts Wesleyan College. He was on the Board of Directors of CIT International from 2015 through 2020. He is a co-author of the recently released publication entitled “Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs: A Best Practice Guide for Transforming Community Responses to Mental Health Crises.” Although he spends most of this time in New York, Dr. Kamin has worked in many other states and conducted CIT-related work in Liberia, West Africa in 2020.
Dr. Kamin is a graduate of Vassar College and received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Ohio University. He completed pre-doctoral training at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine/University Hospitals of Cleveland and post-doctoral training in forensic psychology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Kamin has received several awards recognizing his work from law enforcement departments and advocacy organizations.