Canadian Study Shows Police Need Help Interacting with Mental Health Patients

March 12, 2012
By

People living with a mental health problem or illness report a variety of experiences interacting with police in British Columbia, suggesting a need for better training and other strategies to improve how police personnel handle such situations. These findings are part of a new study released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

The study, involving more than 200 people in British Columbia, is the first in Canada to examine the perceptions and experiences of people with mental illness related to their police interactions. Participants suggested police officers should be encouraged to adopt a more compassionate, empathetic, and respectful approach when dealing with situations involving people with mental illness. The research team included people living with a mental illness, whose involvement ranged from informing the design of materials to conducting data collection, interpreting findings and developing recommendations – an approach referred to as community-based participatory action research.

“Many participants discussed instances in which they were treated positively by the police. Some felt that, in addition to holding the police accountable for misconduct, police officers should be acknowledged for situations that have been handled in a positive and constructive manner,” said Brink. Recommendations were also made relating to human resource issues, including increased support for officers coping with stress, rewarding officers for professional development and recognizing some officers may require additional education and training to interact effectively with people living with a mental illness.

Read more: Market Watch

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Follow The Feminist Wire

Arts & Culture

  • Hunger Kwame Laughing Foto

    They say you had the eye; they say you saw
    into people. They say you came before as shaman
    or bruja and returned as priestess; they say you were
    stonebreaker. But for me, you were a big sister
    feeling for a lonely brother with no language
    to lament, and you gave me more days, and
    more days. Yes, they could have called you
    Grace, Bambara; they could have called you that.

  • Stroller (A Screenplay) Black families and community

    Roxana Walker-Canton: Natalie sits in her own seat in front of her mother and looks out the window. Mostly WHITE PEOPLE get on and off the bus now. The bus rides through a neighborhood of single family homes. A BLACK WOMAN with TWO WHITE CHILDREN get on the bus. Natalie stares at the children.

  • I’ve Got Something To Say About This: A Survival Incantation Kate Rushin
credit/copyright: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

    Kate Rushin: I see the whole thing played out. I’m bludgeoned, bloody, raped. My story is reduced to filler buried in the back of the paper, on page 49, and I say, “No. No way.”

Princeton University Post Doc: Apply Now!