Read updates on COVID-19 and Advocates

Jail Diversion Program Trainings

Launched in 2018, the Advocates Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance Center (CR-TTAC) is the first and only hub for the Jail Diversion Co-Response Model in Massachusetts. In addition to helping expand Advocates' successful Co-Response model, the CR-TTAC is pleased to be able to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) For Public Safety training to officers from across Massachusetts.

What is MHFA?

MHFA is an 8-hour evidence-based curriculum that can help officers better serve those in their community who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. MHFA was designed to help participants identify signs and symptoms of different mental health and substance use disorders so that they can connect those in crisis to appropriate treatment and community resources. You can learn more about MHFA at the link below!

Classes are offered once monthly and are valued by the National Council for Behavioral Health at $170 per person. Thanks to funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), Advocates' CR-TTAC is offering MHFA for Public Safety to departments across the Commonwealth for FREE.


Meet our MHFA Co-Instructors

Jay Ball

Jay is a 2004 graduate of the 12th Municipal Police Officers Class (MPOC) at the MBTA Transit Police Academy in Quincy, MA, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and is pursuing a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology.  He has been a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor since Fall 2018.  Currently, Jay is a Sergeant assigned as a patrol supervisor. Prior to this assignment, he was a Detective with the City of Framingham Police Department, attached to the Metro West Drug Task Force and a School Resource Officer.  Jay has also been a Police Officer at the MBTA Transit Police and a Detective for many years with the Milford Police Department. In addition, to his current assignment, Jay is a Law Enforcement Liaison to the Middlesex County Veterans Treatment Court.  Jay is a big believer in specialty courts, to include Veterans Court, as it assists qualifying men and women who have served in our nations’ Armed Forces receive treatment instead of non-treatment-based decisions typically imposed in regular court proceedings.  In the past, Jay has instructed various investigative and narcotic courses to police officer’s, civilians and members of government agencies.  Jay is a United States Army Veteran, who has experience with deployment and critical incidents as well as helping veterans and first responders with destroying the stigma that is associated with mental health issues.  


Course Feedback

“I would recommend this course to others because it’s easy to forget that mental health issues are widespread and that, although every department has people we encounter often, they are not trying to be a nuisance, they are suffering.”

“It really helped having an officer teach the class, Jay has great presentation skills. He presented the material in a way that engaged the specific public safety audience with practical, first-hand examples from the field.”

“Both instructors were passionate about the information and it was a great course.”