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  • Why do you avoid?

    Do you feel you are properly prepared to deal with "mentally instable" persons when you encounter them in your duties:

    Read the following if you like, it is reality, it is happening and LE will come more in contact with it then ever before.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/11/04/suicide.internet

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited by Mem; 02-02-2006, 05:10 PM.

  • #2
    Why do you avoid?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Mem; 02-02-2006, 05:10 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why do I avoid?

      Originally posted by Mem
      Ok, I have posted about mental illness in a few threads and officers run for the hills. Just for the record, why? Please do not make this a troll or "lets get her" thread. It is a simple question. I am a general public person and find certain questions on this forum seem "taboo". I am just curious as to why, nothing more. Thank you.

      This reminds me of the qustions about alcoholism. Your failure to admit you have a problem is proof that you do have a problem.

      Same with witchcraft 500 years ago. Failure to admit is is proof positive that your a witch. Deception is the biggest clue.

      This is a LE board, not a mental health thread. Ys, we all deal with the emotionally disturbed person, and we do the best we can with them. Where I work, we deal with it quite a bit. What else can I say?

      Am I supposed to dwell on it? What are you after here, a confession that we are mentally ill too?
      You can now follow me on twitter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mem
        Ok, I have posted about mental illness in a few threads and officers run for the hills. Just for the record, why? Please do not make this a troll or "lets get her" thread. It is a simple question. I am a general public person and find certain questions on this forum seem "taboo". I am just curious as to why, nothing more. Thank you.
        The handling of a mental illness case is pretty much a no-win situation for most cops. First, cops get very little (if any) training in working with the mentally ill. The training is devoted to dealing with the BEHAVIORS of the mentally ill, which range from annoying to outright dangerous. Cops don't usually have any option but to treat the mentally ill as they would any other offender that was getting out of hand, and then they're attacked for not being more sensitive and therapeutic.

        Some estimates place the number of mentally ill folks in American jails and prisons at one in three. No matter what the actual numbers, there are simply not enough facilities, trained caregivers, and other resources to deal with mental illness in the way it should be dealt with. There is a stigma to being branded as "mentally ill," so many people who could get treatment just avoid the label. The people who are bothered or otherwise victimized by the mentally ill (or, more accurately, the behavior of the mentally ill, as the individual often can't help but to do what they are doing) may be sympathetic to the problem, but ultimately they want someone to make the problem go away, and that job usually falls to the cop that gets the call. The cop can spend several hours trying to get the individual seen by a mental health care provider (good luck with that), and then, more often than not, be told that the person's condition is insufficient to merit holding them involuntarily, and that there isn't room at the inn, anyway. So the time spent is wasted, and the afflicted person is cut loose. Then, guess who the cop is dealing with, a few minutes or a few hours later?

        When cops are dealing with people who have broken bones, or bleeding wounds, they know what to do, and they know that the problem will be handled by someone qualified to take care of it. When the mentally ill are involved, the situation is a bit like the dialogue between the cop and the medical examiner in Men in Black:

        Dr. Weaver: What's with the cat?
        Cop in Morgue: Well, there's a problem with the cat. Sign here.
        Dr. Weaver: [signing] What's the problem with the cat?
        Cop in Morgue: It's your problem.


        So, don't be too hard on the cops if they don't want to address mental health issues. For the cops, there's a problem with the cat, if you get my metaphor.
        Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Tim Dees

          You said it far better than I could.

          To MEM: that's what I was trying to say.
          You can now follow me on twitter.

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          • #6
            Thank you;
            Last edited by Mem; 02-02-2006, 05:11 PM.

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            • #7
              I don't avoid them

              Originally posted by Mem
              No confession. And no you are not mentally ill nor is any LE. That is not my question. Perhaps I have failed to address this. My point is that there are lot of police situations that involve mentally ill. I have raised some but when I did they were trashed. I was interested in why? That is all. No motive here, just an interest.

              As a non LE perhaps I simply do not understand. Sorry if I appear ignorant but I have yet to understand why certain questions are so attacked here. You have just done so, you have attacked. This is not about me, this is about how you deal with those you do not understand. I do not understand LE so I am here to learn. So let me. Again.......Why do you avoid the issues of how to deal with mentally ill persons?

              Thank you;

              We recieve some (limited) training on mentally ill people. We deal with them by taking suicidal (different from mentally ill) people to the hospital for the appropriate medical attention. We don't solve thier problems, we simply take the gun out of their hand.

              We don't deal with other medical problems either. We don't deal with burst appendix, strepp throat, schizophrenia, or muliple personality disorder. the medical proffesion does. We just provide the ride.
              You can now follow me on twitter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mem
                No confession. And no you are not mentally ill nor is any LE.
                That might be a little generous, but that's another topic.

                Originally posted by Mem
                So let me. Again.......Why do you avoid the issues of how to deal with mentally ill persons?
                I'm not trying to be difficult or rude here, but did you read my first response to your post? Is there some specific area that I didn't explain?
                Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok, responses appreciated. I am not suggesting that officers act as shrinks etc. What my concern was is how quickly officers avoid the subject. A person who is suicidal/ill can turn into an handful at times or not. But knowing how to deal with them can prevent larger situations. My concern was that most departments give little training in this area as of course there are bigger things that you need to be trained it, I agree.

                  There is an increase in suicide and mental illness across the globe and it will touch LE naturally. Just don't ignore it as "oh crazy person, keep driving". Pay attention.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    //////////
                    Last edited by Mem; 02-02-2006, 05:13 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Who, me?

                      What my concern was is how quickly officers avoid the subject

                      I've just made three posts on the topic. I don't think I've avoided it. It's just not numero uno on my list.
                      You can now follow me on twitter.

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                      • #12
                        Good point, I appreciate that you responded. Most don't and thank you. I don't expect it to be number one on the list, I only hope it is on the list at all. Happy thanksgiving.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mem
                          Are officers really prepared to deal with the largest threat, mental illness?

                          Do you feel you are properly prepared to deal with "mentally instable" persons when you encounter them in your duties:
                          Well, here's my response. I don't believe that mental illness is THE largest threat facing police officers (while certainly a considerable one, not the largest). I feel I am 'properly prepared' to deal with 'mentally instable' persons when I encounter them as I'm 'properly prepared' to deal with any person I encounter in my duties. The most important thing to remember when dealing with anybody is that EVERYONE is a threat-only the degree differs. The second rule is to treat others as you wish to be treated as much as allowable. The third rule is to do what you must to resolve a situation to the point where POLICE intervention is no longer needed. Unfortunately/Fortunately many problems involving 'mentally ill' persons (as you call them) do not require police action. While that may seem to some in society that police are ignoring or 'avoiding' a problem, it's just reality. While we often act as garbage men, lawyers, counselors, babysitters, teachers, etc. in the performance of our jobs, we CANNOT help everyone we see or the people who truly need us will be left hanging. So yeah, when I see a 'mentally ill' person talking to themself as they walk down the street while carrying an umbrella on a sunny day....i keep driving because they don't need me--- Yet.
                          What What?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dealing with individuals who suffer from mental illness is difficult because..there is NO reasoning with them. They are always unpredictable!!! One minute they are okay, the next they are not. We often deal with independent living facilities where a number of them are "housed". When one "resident" has a crisis, it creates a domino effect with the other residents. It is not uncommon for numerous patrol units to respond for a single incident. A physical altercation always ensues.

                            Individuals who are mentally ill have enormous strength no matter what size they are. Plus pain compliance techniques have little or no effect. We now have less lethal force options to deal with them. A 37mm projectile seems to work really well.

                            If an emergency psych eval is warranted (5150 72 hour hold), the person usually is out of the psych facility within 2 hours. A revolving door with no assistance. "They" know what to say to the doctors...they know the system.

                            What is the remedy to this problem? Who knows? If you can figure out the answer, I'm sure all the cops would appreciate it. Avoiding the issue??? I don't think that is the case. We are putting band aids on a problem that has taken a long time to fester.

                            Hmmm..I would rather go to the gynacologist than deal with mentally ill people everyday.
                            This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              in oklahoma you are required to take 8 hrs of continuing education for handling mentally ill every year. why avoid them, if they are "drawing attention" to themselves that requires police attention, then yes, you deal with them, just because they are sitting on the corner talking to a stop sign, does not require police action,

                              when dealing with a mentally ill subject that requires police action, you dont treat them any different, you read them and react, just cause they have problems doesnt mean they dont have a personality.

                              Comment

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