Help make a change! Let's get the mentally ill the help they need instead of jailing them.
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I'm looking to change how law enforcement handles calls regarding mental health/suicide calls. I want to get people like myself the help they need instead of putting them through the court system as a result of their mental illness. Having to deal with the court system doesn't help with the recovery of anyone who has mental health issues, it does the exact opposite and hinders/slows it down.
Here in MN, starting in 2018, all law enforcement will need to undergo a minimum of 16 hours of de-escalation training every 3 years (Crisis Intervention Team). However, it seems the local departments can divvy up the training as they see fit. I feel that ALL law enforcement officers should undergo a 40 hour training program on mental health, then the 16 hours every three years as refreshers.
We should also be implementing Jail Aversion Programs to help get the patients the help they need instead of jailing them and charging them for being sick.
"44 out of 50 states, prisons and jails hold more individuals with serious mental illness than the largest state hospital. In local jails, 64% of people experience symptoms of a mental health condition, which represents over 7 million people. Additionally, 17% of jail inmates experience a serious mental illness." -NAMI
I want to see a system implemented where police aren't viewed as a treat to people in crisis, but a means of support. Sometimes the approach taken by police can intensify the crisis, even if they have the right intentions. Getting proper training and consistent refreshers can only help in these situations.
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