It has happened before where someone notices someone call a disturbance and calls the police, only for the police to kill the person who happens to be mentally ill. The Virginia-based nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center, one in four people who are killed by the police are those who are mentally ill. By sending in mental health professionals, there will be less bloodshed and more help given to those who need it.
Police and Cases of Mental Illness
The police tend to be confused as to how to treat cases of those with a mental illness. If the police send someone with a mental illness to jail, it should be because a serious crime has been committed. When minor offenses are involved, this person should be taken to a hospital instead of jail.
If mental illness is not a crime, there is no reason why the police need to be involved with every case. In 2015, Stockholm started a mental health ambulance that may have looked like an ambulance from the outside but had cozy seats for therapy sessions on the inside. There would be two mental health nurses and one paramedic in the ambulance. Most of the people they took care of were those who were at risk for suicide. This ambulance helps give people with mental illness the care they need, avoid police altercations, and minimize the mental illness stigma. In its first year, this ambulance was requested 1,580 times and helped 1,254 cases, averaging out to 3.4 cases a day.
Eugene, Oregon has a nonprofit called Cahoots which stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Street. While this nonprofit has been around since 1989, there is more prevalence today since the police brutality towards mental illness has led to a public outcry. Cahoots has been handling people who are homeless, intoxicated, disoriented or are involved in a dispute. Cahoots is wired into the 911 system and responds to most calls without police involvement.
Cahoots employees listen to police radios with their earbuds and speak in calm tones to those on the phone. In 2017, Cahoots handled 17% of calls in Eugene and is working with a number of cities like Olympia, Denver, New York, Indianapolis, Portland, and Roseburg. With services like this that are willing to help those walking on the streets struggling with mental illness, millions would be spared suffering and be given help.
Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.