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Mental Health and Police

blackjack50

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NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness

So this is essentially a bunch of strategies and tactics for police and mental health professionals when dealing with the mentally ill. Something should be done for training police, but it is important to realize that the problem isn't just with how police approach the situation. A huge piece is the lack of help out there.

If I were running the show for a local government I would want to encourage programs for the mentally ill. This is something that needs to be pushed at the local level...if there are local therapists and such...try and give access for those who have constant run ins with police due to issues. Ask advice in dealing with the situation for law enforcement. my local department consults veterinarians when they run into animal control issues. The idea would be similar.

What do you think? Beyond just training "mental health scenarios" what more can be done?
 

Fiddytree

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NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness

So this is essentially a bunch of strategies and tactics for police and mental health professionals when dealing with the mentally ill. Something should be done for training police, but it is important to realize that the problem isn't just with how police approach the situation. A huge piece is the lack of help out there.

If I were running the show for a local government I would want to encourage programs for the mentally ill. This is something that needs to be pushed at the local level...if there are local therapists and such...try and give access for those who have constant run ins with police due to issues. Ask advice in dealing with the situation for law enforcement. my local department consults veterinarians when they run into animal control issues. The idea would be similar.

What do you think? Beyond just training "mental health scenarios" what more can be done?
Sadly, the same chorus: community-based services with adequate funding, actual access to beds in case of emergency, much more responsive interagency collaborative efforts, and test existing infrastructures of ineffective advice or non-existent operations throughout the day.

Another issue: Try not to have police become regular responders to patients in mental health facilities and leave that to the appropriately trained staff. We get neither the level of transparency we would from the hospital staff, nor do we erode the already significant amount of criminalization of mental illness by having them become frequent visitors. It also increases the danger to patient and officer, increasing the possibility the former will be unnecessarily killed by the response from the latter.
 

joG

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NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness

So this is essentially a bunch of strategies and tactics for police and mental health professionals when dealing with the mentally ill. Something should be done for training police, but it is important to realize that the problem isn't just with how police approach the situation. A huge piece is the lack of help out there.

If I were running the show for a local government I would want to encourage programs for the mentally ill. This is something that needs to be pushed at the local level...if there are local therapists and such...try and give access for those who have constant run ins with police due to issues. Ask advice in dealing with the situation for law enforcement. my local department consults veterinarians when they run into animal control issues. The idea would be similar.

What do you think? Beyond just training "mental health scenarios" what more can be done?
My first thought is: Cost benefit analysis.
Do you have anything on that?
 

ttwtt78640

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Sadly, the same chorus: community-based services with adequate funding, actual access to beds in case of emergency, much more responsive interagency collaborative efforts, and test existing infrastructures of ineffective advice or non-existent operations throughout the day.

Another issue: Try not to have police become regular responders to patients in mental health facilities and leave that to the appropriately trained staff. We get neither the level of transparency we would from the hospital staff, nor do we erode the already significant amount of criminalization of mental illness by having them become frequent visitors. It also increases the danger to patient and officer, increasing the possibility the former will be unnecessarily killed by the response from the latter.
The problems that we have today are largely due to an aversion to institutionalized mental health care. Society, it seems, prefers to maximize "free range" rights of seriously mentally ill folks which, of course, drastically increases their LEO contact.
 

Fiddytree

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The problems that we have today are largely due to an aversion to institutionalized mental health care. Society, it seems, prefers to maximize "free range" rights of seriously mentally ill folks which, of course, drastically increases their LEO contact.
Not really. We have an aversion to a multi-faceted approach. This results in a public policy orientation which defies fiscal soundness, law and order, and treating people with dignity.

When the libertarian conservative movement jumped on board with the notion that institutionalized care was overly expensive, all they really did was look at the budget. They largely presumed that one could deal with the problem by removing "the largest hotel" (in Reagan's phrasing) by focusing strictly on slashing the existing institutionalized infrastructure and the self-interested staff.

The presumption was that you could eliminate budgets and just let the rest solve itself. There was no real follow-through with the pretensions that had been in the written record since the late 1960s. Remove one infrastructure without creating another that is less costly, but more effective.

Institutionalized care is a necessity and should exist, but politicians are still under the illusion you can only either do one or the other. Institutionalized care is far more expensive than the alternatives, but it needs to exist for the more significant issues. Nevertheless, community options serve as a means to erode the need for institutionalized care and come at a fraction of the cost.

Only a couple weeks ago I was in a meeting where it was clear that even though state reps wanted cost savings, they just couldn't connect the dots as to how you get there through additional programs (that cost far less than incarceration or institutionalized care).
 

blackjack50

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My first thought is: Cost benefit analysis.
Do you have anything on that?
What do you mean? A cost/benefit analysis regarding how effective it would be to try and keep police from shooting dead some mentally unstable person because they don't understand what is going on. I certainly wouldn't know how to handle it other than contain and arrest. Keep the peace. The unstable person is a threat to the peace.

That isn't fair because they don't know what is going on or can't control it. If someone is a constant problem then there needs to be a solution.
 

Fiddytree

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What do you mean? A cost/benefit analysis regarding how effective it would be to try and keep police from shooting dead some mentally unstable person because they don't understand what is going on. I certainly wouldn't know how to handle it other than contain and arrest. Keep the peace. The unstable person is a threat to the peace.

That isn't fair because they don't know what is going on or can't control it. If someone is a constant problem then there needs to be a solution.
There are a number of mechanisms which deescalate situations, and we are still trying to get them implemented in the school systems. It requires training and a different mindset. Many officers are trained in a manner and (to some extent) expected to force compliance as a means of securing the situation (so that they, other civilians, and potentially even the individual in question are not significantly harmed). However, that desire to force compliance is often entirely counterproductive when an individual has such a disorder (especially when they constitute no real threat to others). Either they are going through a crisis moment where it significantly alters their ability to function as desired or seen as normal by society or they simply can't comprehend what is being asked or desired of them at any period of the day. Utilizing those other methods frequently deescalates a situation without compromised safety for any party.

Such methods are useful for not only persons with behavioral and emotional health issues, but also for the general population. A change in the orientation when dealing with unarmed individuals who do not yet represent a danger to others should prove to be quite useful in most interactions.

Very few of these problems necessitates that individual being segregated from society, by the way. But, you know, after centuries of acculturation of the general population to think that isolation is the de facto method of dealing with mental illness and mental health problems, it is going to take a long long time to show them that their perceptions are not in fact reality, and devalue these individuals as human beings worthy of the same natural rights and happiness as they.
 
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joG

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What do you mean? A cost/benefit analysis regarding how effective it would be to try and keep police from shooting dead some mentally unstable person because they don't understand what is going on. I certainly wouldn't know how to handle it other than contain and arrest. Keep the peace. The unstable person is a threat to the peace.

That isn't fair because they don't know what is going on or can't control it. If someone is a constant problem then there needs to be a solution.
No. That was not what costs and benefits should be analyzed for. there are a number of policies and measures around this issue to be compared.
 
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