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What Should You Do If You Encounter Someone In Crisis?

mental illness
Mary Altaffer
New York Police officers assist an actor during a specialized training class designed to help officers better understand how to manage encounters with individuals with a mental illness.

People with mental illness face heightened dangers when interacting with law enforcement. These encounters create high-situations for both the individuals and the officers, and can end in severe injuries or death. And police officers are increasingly the ones responding to people with mental illnesses who are in crisis.

Training for first law enforcement officers so they are better prepared to de-escalate situations involving someone with a mental illness has evolved over the past decade. And there has also been a greater awareness that anyone encountering an individual in mental crisis – on the street, in a store, on a bus – could be considered a first responder, and should know what to do until police or EMTs arrive on the scene.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss training law enforcement officers on how to respond to situations involving individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, and what to do if you encounter someone in crisis, are Center for Cognition and Recovery LLC CEO Zeeba Mercer and Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) trainer Victor Lloyd; and former City of Blue Ash Chief of Police Paul Hartinger, who is involved in crisis intervention team training for first responders.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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