It is estimated that between 7 and 10 percent of police-citizen encounters involve a person with a mental health condition. Untreated mental health issues increase a person’s probability of
contact with police, and situations involving individuals in crisis can escalate quickly, heightening the risk of injury to both officers and individuals.
Police response can be a critical point of intervention and determine the outcome of a mental health crisis. In this class, we examine the initial law enforcement response to persons in crisis, strategies officers can employ during response, and requirements for protective custody.
Also discussed is the importance of providing mental health training to officers, implementing policies governing officer response, and establishing partnerships with the mental health community and statewide mental health resources.