Police and the mentally ill
A Wall Street Journal article (With â€˜Reality Visorsâ€™ Officers Try New Tack to Face Mentally Ill) was mainly encouraging. Police are learning to deal effectively and compassionately with the mentally ill rather than using aggressive techniques that are inappropriate and sometimes spark violent reactions. But I was a little surprised to read about what officers in Phoenix are up to:
[Police officers] â€¦conducted home visits withâ€¦ mentally ill residents to make sure they were attending therapy sessions, getting medical care and taking their medication. They urged the homeless mentally ill to move to shelters and voluntarily accept help for their illnessesâ€¦ They even drive some patients to doctorsâ€™ visits.
Somebody in Phoenix should wake up and hire some psychiatric nurses to do home visits. Using police officers for that job is costly and ineffective.September 28, 2006