Conner used to struggle with behavioral health issues until he met the right team at Starkey. With intervention from health and behavior support professionals, Conner learned to manage the paranoia his mental health diagnosis caused, spend time in the community and curb his destructive behavior. He found the help he needed in Starkey’s Gateway Program, and after a few years, transitioned to part-time employment in the community – at Carlos O’Kelly’s – and a more independent living situation in a Starkey duplex.
One of Conner’s most important jobs is training law enforcement officers annually through the Crisis Intervention Training, where he educates about to effectively interact with people in crisis who have disabilities. Conner shares personal examples of his past interactions with officers – tips like “pull me to the side and speak with me, instead of talking about everything in front of a group” – and officers ask him questions about how to improve their approach in crisis situations. To date, over 500 law enforcement officers from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, the Wichita Police Department, the Kansas Department of Corrections, and other area law enforcement agencies have been CIT-trained.