How to Call the Police When a Mentally Ill Person is in Crisis
There is a right way to alert the police when dealing with mental illness.
I was lucky. I had an astute enough social worker who knew that I would eventually have to involve the police in my son’s care. He suggested to me that I pay my local police a visit, introduce myself and give them Nick’s background and history. If the police know what they are walking into a hospitalization is more likely than a physical arrest.
Alert 911 that they are responding to a call dealing with mental illness. Many police departments have trained some of their officers how to respond, talk to and handle the mentally ill. That is the officer you want them to send.
If no one is in immediate physical danger, ask them to turn off their sirens and lights. The consumer is stressed and frightened enough. A calm approach will also increase the chance of a positive outcome.
Many state ordinances will NOT allow an involuntary hospitalization unless the consumer has threatened to harm themselves or others. IF YOUR GOAL IS TO GET YOUR KID COMMITTED (AND I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH), LIE, LIE & LIE. Look, my son needed to be committed to get him the help he needed because he was so non-compliant. I had to lie and tell the police that he threatened me to get him through the psyche ward door.
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