What Law Enforcement Needs to Know About Working with Citizens with Mental Illness

Charlotte mental health servicesAs jails around the country fill with the mentally ill who are unable to get the help they need, police forces across the nation are taking classes on working with the mentally ill public. Many of the inmates who have mental health issues have been arrested repeatedly for minor offenses. While they are incarcerated, they are able to receive mental health care that goes above and beyond what they were able to get outside the prison system. Legacy Freedom provides some of the best Charlotte mental health services in the area. Call us now to learn more.

When a police officer responds to a call regarding someone acting strangely, officers become guarded and wary. With the increase in violence against officers, this reaction is only natural. Knowing little to nothing about mental health disorders puts the person involved in the situation and the responding officers at a significant disadvantage. Often interpreted as a sign of impending violence, bizarre behaviors that can be linked to common mental health issues put officers even more on edge. Not knowing how to approach someone with a mental illness can endanger the officers and the person with the illness even further.

Common actions that police officers use to control or calm suspicious persons like putting their hand on the person's shoulder can have the opposite effect when the person has a mental illness. When the subject pulls away or reacts adversely, officers may misinterpret the response as an attempt to flee or as resistance. Helping officers to learn the how to approach those with mental illnesses is vital to community safety as officers adapt to the reality that more and more people are unable to get the mental health care they need.

A recent study of the Portland Police Department found that since the department began providing officers training on how to interact with the mentally ill the use of force by officers has decreased dramatically. The study showed that between 2008 and 2014 the reports of the use of force by officers in Portland dropped by more than 65%. Accusations of excessive force by the public decreased by 74%. Portland officers recognize that they will be dealing with a greater number of mental illness complaints and have found ways to help those who are repeat offenders find longer-term solutions.

Outpatient Charlotte Mental Health Services

If you, or someone you love, struggle with untreated mental illnesses Legacy Freedom can help. Thousands of clients have found support and solace in our holistic approach to mental health care. Whether you have had a mental health evaluation before or you've been too scared to seek help, we are here for you. We believe in healing the whole person, not just your mental illness. Creating a plan of care that revolves around you, your interests, needs, and goals puts you in control of your outpatient treatment plan. Getting the help you need is important.

Call or click to connect with our care team. Confidential and compassionate mental health care is waiting for you at Legacy Freedom of Charlotte. Stop letting your mental illness make decisions for you. Begin your treatment with the best Charlotte mental health services today.

Join us next time for more information about how law enforcement officers are taking steps to learn about working with those who have a mental illness.

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