Police Treatment of Mental Illness
Report recommends more police training for dealing with mentally ill
A new report released by The Mental Health Commission of Canada indicates there are more interactions between these two groups now than there were five to seven years ago
A lack of treatment and support for those with mental illness, plus the stigma, mean police are often in a situation where they have to deal with the crisis.
“There has been significant interest amongst the police community to provide sufficient training for police personnel both to improve their understanding of mental illness and to equip them to respond appropriately to persons with mental illness,” said study co-author Terry Coleman in a statement.
“As important as police training in matters of mental health is, police are not doctors, and should never be expected to act as such,” he told reporters at the conference Wednesday.
“Healthcare is the explicit responsibility of the provinces, and we look to our provincial partners to provide the necessary intervention and assistance for the mentally ill – before they encounter the criminal justice system. I cannot emphasize this point more strongly.”
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/report-recommends-more-police-training-for-dealing-with-mentally-ill-1.1978377#ixzz3Bida07zC
Canada is Proactive in this response. This is Preventive Medicine. Mentally ill patients are increasingly likely to come in contact with police officers, has the medical community braced itself for the backlash.
Shooting acutely suicidal patients or imprisoning mentally ill patients who are often homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol is not treatment. Especially when family calls 911 for help and first responders are the local cops. Police Officers should calmly talk with patients and transport them to the local ED, in consultation with the ED physician or charge nurse. First Responders are managed by an MD or an entity with MDs or DOs such as hospitals.
Police Officers are not doctors. Police officers are not allowed to make medical decisions. Why then do Police officer make medical decisions in the videos by deviating from First Responder protocols? They should notify the ED of a patient with altered mental status and ask for assistance as well as call for backup. Why is that done after lethal means?
Excellent article written from the perspective of a white female who survived striking a police officer:
In none of the videos, did officers attempt to treat patients humanely. Acutely ill and agitated patients were treated in the most obscene manner. Instead of displaying courtesy or respecting their dignity, the officers pointed their guns, threatened, yelling different orders littered with profanities and disparaging comments that would frighten and confuse Even the most sane person, let alone someone with mental illness or Aspergers where sensory inputs are altered.
In none of the videos or stories involving Black and Brown people, did cops act appropriately in reducing sensory overload necessary to de-escalate a high-risk stressful situation. Why? Police Officers are trained in CPR and carry defibrillators….In some towns, police officers are the only first responders….why did cops deviate from standard First Responder Protocols in the videos and narratives? Cops in these videos make no attempt to descalate by talking courteously or recruiting family or friends but instead do everything to provoke an already high-risk suicide situation. The current behaviors and lack of proactive responses by medical communities is not only a serious breach in the delivery of medical care that is ultimately very costly to society but a violation to do no harm.
Food For Thought:
We wonder: suicide rates have not come down from 12-13 per 100,000 , why despite a variety of treatment options? (rates may begoing up with someone committing suicide every 13 minutes in 2010 compared to every 17 minutes a couple of years earlier) Perhaps it may have to do with the ripple effect of inappropriate treatment and second-hand exposure to police violence by communities….consider that for further research and my database will assist in capturing context within communities. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/aag.html)
What is the AMA doing about this problem? Are doctors protecting their patients? Or Is medicine also biased against pigment? Discrimination in medicine exists as well as cruelty. I experienced discrimination, misdiagnosis, redacted and multiple medical records and cruelty at the hands of doctors at Tufts Medical Center, Justina Pelletier at Boston Childrens Hospital and thousands unknown. The ACA and patient protection laws offer no protection against discriminatory medicine by ED staff, except stakes to do no harm are higher for those involved in the delivery of medical care, particularly, doctors.
In other words, the Medical Director of EMS (Emergency Medical System) or the physician director of first responders provides a channel to seek compensation and recourse for victims. Name of the person or the group ort he hospital name is relevant for the database as well as 911 tapes.