RALEIGH, N.C. --  Raleigh police officers are hoping to offer a unique opportunity to give community members a free class officers must take when joining the force. 

  • The class will give people the tools to spot someone with mental illness
  • It will also teach them ways to help the person calm down
  • Sign up for the class here

Police say mental health first aid classes give people the tools to spot someone with mental illness, and help them either calm down, or avoid doing destructive or unsafe things that could cause harm to themselves or others.

Officers say we are seeing mental illness play a large role in society more and more. Wednesday, officers say a veteran with PTSD killed 12 people at a California nightclub. In August, officials say a Raleigh man with mental issues swung at Raleigh police officers, and bit one in the leg in an attempt to avoid arrest.

Frederick Hall faces assault charges. His family has asked the Raleigh Police Department to handle mental health cases more effectively. 

Senior Training Officer Michael Macario says the training that is now being offered to the public has been instrumental in his career so far. 

“I remember a domestic violence call and it literally was a returning veteran with PTSD who had received no help,” Macario said. “His behavior had been altered tremendously through the trauma that he had experienced. I had just come off of the training and I was armed with the enthusiasm and the knowledge the training had provided to me. I was able to a much better job of assessing the situation and stabilizing it, and providing the family with the resources that they needed.”​

The free classes will be on select days starting in December. Sign up for the eight-hour class here

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