Leonard Swanson awarded 2023 CIT International Researcher of the Year
Leonard Swanson, crisis response initiative manager at the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at the Wayne State University School of Social Work was recognized for his contributions to the field of crisis response research at the 2023 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International Conference. The CIT Excellence in Research Award recognizes those individuals who are doing exemplary work in evaluation and/or research as it relates to Crisis Intervention Teams and/or crisis response systems to advance system improvements.
“On behalf of myself and colleagues from across Michigan, we are grateful for the contributions Leonard has made to our programs,” said Meghan Taft, CIT International Inc. board member and Community Initiatives Director at Summit Pointe Community Mental Health in Calhoun County, who presented Swanson with the award. “He has been a valuable member of our CIT Michigan team and continues to advance our local work and efforts.”
As the manager of the Crisis Response Initiative at the CBHJ, Leonard strives to support Michigan counties in their goals of improving their crisis systems through evidence-based research and practices. In his acceptance speech, Leonard recognized his staff on the crisis response initiative team who conduct project activities and data analysis.
Leonard’s contributions to the CBHJ span beyond crisis response, and include the development of the Sequential Intercept Model Practices Leadership, and Expertise (SIMPLE) scorecard to assess county-level behavioral health and justice collaborations across the sequential intercept in communities across the state. The scorecard can be used as an evidence-based strategic planning tool to drive behavioral health and criminal legal system change at a county level.
“Leonard’s passion for this work, coupled with his intellect and collaborative problem-solving approach have propelled innovative solutions forward, both locally and nationally”, said Sheryl Kubiak, dean of the Wayne State University School of Social Work and founding director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. “All of us at Wayne State University, his alma mater, are proud of him for receiving this recognition.”
The award was presented on the final day of the 2023 CIT International Conference held in Detroit, Michigan, which had almost 900 attendees from 46 states and several countries around the world. The annual conference brings together public safety and mental health professionals around the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program, a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and substance use professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, their families, and other advocates.
About the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice: The Wayne State University School of Social Work Center for Behavioral Health and envisions communities in which research, data, and best practices are used by multiple stakeholders to enhance the optimal well-being of individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the criminal/legal system. Learn more
About CIT International, Inc.: The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and substance use professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, their families, and other advocates. Learn more