CSX’s Chief of Police Jackie Litzinger and Deputy Chief Frank Kirbyson recently attended a high-profile event in support of the Opening Doors to Recovery Project in Southeast Georgia. The event followed a request for a project briefing from Rosalynn Carter, who is a strong advocate for the organization and its mission. The planners aimed to showcase the program’s successes through testimonials from individuals who have overcome their illnesses and are on the path to a better life.
“These people had wonderful stories to tell about their recoveries,” Jackie said. “It validated the power of compassion, demonstrating that when people battling mental illness receive help from their communities in lieu of incarceration or hospitalization, it’s a victory for all concerned.”
CSX has been a sponsor of the program for several years, supporting the organization’s mission to provide community-based support for people living with serious mental illness. Many of those impacted by the program have experienced chronic homelessness followed by frequent incarcerations and hospitalizations. CSX is one of three major funders, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
The Opening Doors program was developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in 2009. It incorporates intensive case management techniques tailored to the specific individual and aims for rehabilitation and recovery rather than confinement.
The program also aligns with CSX Police training, teaching CSX agents to recognize the characteristic behaviors of people with mental illnesses. Armed with a greater understanding of ways to help them cope in society, the CSX Police seek community resources to more effectively deal with the sufferers’ problems.
“It was very gratifying to be a part of the recent event. I’m very proud to work for a company that lends such generous support to this important cause,” Jackie said.