Mental Illness Training for Police

Added by Tabitha Farrar | Guardian Liberty Voice | Las Vegas, NV
Mental Illness Training for Police

Mental illness trainings are being given to police officers to help them better understand the challenges that people with mental health problems go though. With the help of a $168,000 grant from the state Department of Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts branch is working hard to ensure that more police departments around the state get specific training and lessons on how to correctly handle subjects with mental illnesses. These training are being brought to police department in a bid reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health issues and help police to better serve those that suffer from them.

Across the country, officers are beginning to experience the benefits of having the tools and skills that they need in order to understand and handle people with mental health complications. Take for example the case of two Somerville officers, Timothy Sullivan and Mike Monaco; After coming out of a training session specific to the challenges faced by people with Asperger’s syndrome they found that they were much better equipped to tactfully handle a situation which involved a person with suffering from Asperger’s. Officer Monaco describes the scenario where the subject was in an agitated state after having been in a fight with another young man. The police officers accredited their better understanding of the subjects potential to the training course that they had just been a part of. Officer Monaco explained that after the training on Asperger’s he was able to identify that the subject suffered from this mental illness and diffuse the situation without it resulting in greater conflict. Due to the training that he had been given, Officer Monaco was able to understand that the subject would be very sensitive to touch and opted to diffuse the situation with his voice instead.

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