Mandatory training for law enforcement on mental illness
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Steve's story isn't over yet...
Training on mental illness for law enforcement is optional but not mandatory. This includes Lackawanna Police Department but does not stop there. The entire state of New York needs to make this training mandatory. With high hopes we can work on getting this training mandatory across the board to all officials who come in counter with a person suffering from mental health concerns. Far too many preventable deaths occur due to lack of knowledge and inadequate training when pertaining to mental illness. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people. Chances are everyone knows someone who is connected to this disease.
Now is the time to speak out and start saving lives. The personal well-being of a person with any and all mental/ emotional health concerns need to be insured while in the custody of law enforcement. Outdated protocol is proving to be ineffective. Substantial knowledge and appropriate training on mental illness is undoubtedly long overdue it's time to make a change and start protecting individuals with mental instability in the care of law enforcement.
Stephen Sinwell was suffering from depression. Law enforcement was called to do a welfare check after some suicidal text messages were sent by Stephen. Upon arrival cops stated that they found an illegal drug on the floor of Stephens work vehicle. He was taken into custody and thrown into a cell with a pay phone in it. Stephen ended up hanging himself in the cell with said phone cord. If the initial welfare check was dealt with by a trained professional Stephen’s death could have been prevented. Stephen wasn't just a flawed person in society. He was a human being who was loved and cherished by many people in a flawed society. Stephen's story isn't an isolated incident. Every day more and more stories arise from people suffering from this disease whose lives were taken because of lack of training.
Our family would like your help in putting a stop to this. You can help by signing our petition. We are also excepting letters. If you feel compelled to write a letter or email please have it state that you feel law enforcement and the community would benefit from training and adequate knowledge of mental illness. Or simply to make sure that someone who is trained is on-call and or available at all times. A person who is suffering from mental illness should not have to leave their life into the hands of someone who isn't properly trained.
We also encourage that you feel free to add or include any personal situation or incident that was transpired as a result of mental illness or any other similarities.
Please start your letters with Steve's story isn't over yet...
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P.O. BOX 184 Coopersburg, PA 18036
The Sinwell Family
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