“How police can avoid shooting the mentally ill”

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This August 26, 2014 CNN article talks about the ever-increasing problem that police face when dealing with a person who is mentally ill.

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2 Responses

  1. Also, once when I pointed a toy gun at a CT police officer, he did NOT panic and shoot me, no, he took the time to recognize that it was actually a water squirt gun, painted black to look real, and gently “disarmed” me…He did not decide that he had the “right” to kill me because I had pointed a supposedly lethal weapon at him. Wethersfield, CT police officers are CIT trained and they use their training. How many take this training but never use it? I wonder…

  2. These are instructions that are on the first page(s) of my advanced directive. I believe that while not all are relevant to everyone MANY are and both police and mental health and emergency personnel could learn a lot from them.

    HOW TO INTERVENE IN A CRISIS:
    • CRISIS DE-ESCALATION IS ESSENTIAL
    • DO NOT SUDDENLY TOUCH ME OR GRAB ME.
    • DO NOT YELL AT ME OR ORDER ME AROUND.
    • I WILL CALM DOWN IF YOU REMEMBER THESE THINGS:

    1. I AM SCARED, HEARING VOICES, AND LIKELY TO BE PARANOID. I ONLY FIGHT IF I FEEL UNDER ATTACK. DO *NOT* USE A SHOW OF FORCE, AS THIS WILL ONLY FRIGHTEN ME MORE.

    2. DON’T ISSUE ULTIMATUMS…That will push us all into a corner and serve nothing

    3. AN UNRUFFLED PERSON SHOULD ASK ME TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, and try other gentle verbal calming techniques. I am always grateful for people remaining calm when I am upset.

    4. NEVER FORCE ME ALONE INTO A BARREN (seclusion) ROOM. Even when upset, someone talking with me or sitting with me can help me calm down.

    5. ASK ME IF I COULD USE A WEIGHTED OR WARMED-UP BLANKET. SOMETHING ICY TO EAT LIKE A POPSICLE CAN ALSO HELP.

    6. PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. Medication may not be needed if you hear what the problem is.

    7. WHEN TRULY NECESSARY, YOU MAY PERSUADE ME TO TAKE ORAL MEDICATION, but only if you negotiate this with dignity and kindness. Keep speaking to me calmly and explain your reasoning

    8. MUSIC ALWAYS HELPS ME. If you have access to Pandora Radio, Carole King, Bruno Mars, or Adele “stations” for example can greatly assist in calming me.

    ***I cannot reiterate enough that if you use 4-point restraints or seclusion, it is virtually guaranteed that you will see regression to primitive states, increased hostility and aggressiveness as a result. Please don’t do something everyone will regret.

    Hope this is of use to you and your followers.

    Pam W.

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