Policing and the Mentally Ill: A Better Approach

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By John Grohol, Psych Central, and Gabe Howard. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Police officers are often the first responders when someone is having a mental illness crisis. But are members of law enforcement properly equipped for this job? There are plenty of horrifying stories that would indicate that the answer is “no.” How do we change this? Join us as Gabe speaks with Officer Rebecca Skillern from the Huston, Texas, Police Department about how Houston is training its officers to respond to these difficult calls.

Officer Rebecca Skillern, senior trainer within the mental health division of the Houston Police Department, joins as a special guest to explain police protocol in answering crisis emergencies and what people with schizophrenia and their loved ones should do when an episode puts someone in danger.

She is an expert in Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT ) which is a program that provides the foundation necessary to promote community and statewide solutions in assisting individuals with a mental illness and/or addictions. The CIT Model reduces both stigma and the need for further involvement with the criminal justice system. CIT provides a forum for effective problem-solving regarding the interaction between the criminal justice and mental health care systems and creates the context for sustainable change. Learn more by visiting www.citinternational.org.

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