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Fatima Thurairaja Social Justice Project

The article that I chose to summarize is about how law enforcement officers treat victims of mental health and how society/the public respond to their crisis. The author discuses key points and examples from past cases what has worked and what strategies do not work when engaged with a person with mental health issues. Law enforcement is so quick to target those who may be harm to themselves or society, what this author is trying to say is lets take a moment to view the underlying issues. What treatments can we offer to this individual without further causing harm to themselves or may lead them to harm others. Lets talk about harm reduction, put your weapons down and start doing more homework in the mental health sector. The law enforcement should be specially trained in crisis prevention; some divisions make it a protocol while others not so much. There has been statistics that divisions who do not practice harm reduction and gain no CIT training are less prepared for dealing with a person(s) with mental health issues. They key concepts this author discusses is; factors contributing to this ongoing problem. A person(s) with mental health is creating problems to society or themselves because of treatment that has not been given to them, a good example would be a wound that needs stitching, if you do not receive treatment for this deep wound eventually it will become infected and will become a bigger wound that needs more and more attention as time goes on. This is how the law enforcement must view mental health; as a wound that needs healing but it is up to them to cause preventatives by determining what needs to be done with issues arise and taking the right steps to protect this person who is struggling but is not given the right attention and care. Three reasons why this is an ongoing problem is because the steps law enforcement are taking is; deinstitutionalization, criminalization, medicalization, and privatization. All these actions are contributing to self harm and moving further away from the right treatment.

Fatima Thurairaja Social Justice Project

When working with a person(s) with mental health the author suggest taking steps such as; law enforcement working with the mental health community, who can be the right advocates and provide training to these offers and show them the right responses during emergencies that will cause harm reduction. 2. Having a good rapport with the local emergency section at the hospital so that good communication is in effect and that this person is monitored throughout his/her crisis. Another action would be to have each division state a lisason to advocate and attend mental health conferences and training. Officers will be educated about this topic and know the symptoms so he/she can respond appropriately and take the right actions. Make decisions free of prejudice, preformed attitudes, and stereotypical approaches. As a CYW I am interested about this topic for social change because during the summer I was able to intern at S.O.A.R which is a nonprofit agency that works with adults with mental health issues. At this agency I was able to have one on one conversation with the clients read their files and attend field trips with them. I was able to build a relationship with these clients and view the world in their eyes. What I learned was they are not able to comprehend everything that we are e.g. what is right and what is wrong, what are the consequences if I do this. These clients were able to gain support and treatment but there are many in the world that have not been diagnosed yet and do not know how to cope with their disability. It is our job as a member of society to give equality to the disadvantaged through education and training the law enforcement who are the face of our community. As an alley my role would be to address my findings and train my staff/ myself in this sector of our field, so we are fully educated and on the right path to train others we come across.

Fatima Thurairaja Social Justice Project