I had the chance to talk to some people who are living with mental illness about their interactions with law enforcement. It was great to hear their stories and suggestion for better interactions. I can't imagine how hard it would be to talk about your illness, let alone such a stigmatized one publicly.
The term consumer has been given to decribe someone who is living with a mental illness ,but locally consumers prefer to be called peers. After hearing these brave people talk and answer questions here are some do’s and don’t in a time a crisis for first responders.
My favorite line that was said was:
“Officers are our advocates for our health when we cannot advocate for ourselves”
So remember when you are out with someone you are their lifeline and the one who can truly help someone when they are in crisis or a time of need.
This post has been update from 4/2/16
The Crisis Intervention Team Inc. brings you education, conversations and perspectives on behavioral health, law enforcement, and crisis intervention teams.