One thing that stood out to me in this thread, was the position the officers took…or the opinions that were shared by an officer about court ordered treatment.
It is hard to know all the details, and even to grasp the full context of your experience…so forgive me if I missed something, @hope, but in my own case…and I think for all of us…I remain deeply concerned about officer training as it relates to the nature of Sz, and the complexity of it. I live very rural and remote and I was so struck by P. Earley’s information about the absence of crisis training…even in very large population districts. In my own case, I called the Sheriff to ask him about the exact training his officers have had and learned that no one had had any, other than 16 hours of mental health related information when they went to school to become an officer. I then called the deputy that serves most often where I live and I insisted he come and have coffee with me and we discuss what could happen. I know that is unrealistic where many of you might live (I am in rural MT), but at the time I was living with my son in what was a not-medicated, never had been medicated state, and he was in varying stages of complete paranoid psychosis…along with all the other awful things that come along with housing someone who is very ill.
I think it is very important for all of us to find out what experience and training the officers that will respond to your need have…and I mean, a complete description of the type of training the police/sheriff/deputies have had…and if it is not adequate, NAMI can help with that. In our case, and in our area, I not only am trying to work on training for the small department that serves us, but the volunteer first responders that serve our small communities (volunteer fire/ambulance/emt). In the meantime, every sheriff’s deputy that could have an interaction with my son has had a discussion with me, and thankfully…the Sheriff has been gracious in that.
When I think of the first call I had with our Sheriff about this…and how I struggled to get the words out of my mouth of what I was trying to share…and I blurted out, “I just don’t want you to shoot my son!” At the same time, trying to keep myself from vomiting out of the emotional upset of even mumbling those words, as this was all still so new and fresh within 3 months of his first hospitalization and a refusal of any medication.
Ultimately, I was given the personal cell phone of the deputy that lived most close to me (It is more than a 2 hour drive from one side of the county to the other), and ended up calling him late one night and that ultimately resulted in my son’s most recent hospitalization, and involuntary medication. The officer was prepared, and he did an outstanding job at keeping the situation calm. He is a 27 year old young man, and I was so grateful I laid that foundation ahead of time.
Like I said, it is not realistic in all situations…but I can’t help but think if I was living in Brooklyn, NY, that I wouldn’t hunt down every officer that might respond there too…and make sure they knew what my son looked like just in case they ever had an interaction.
Oh, this life we all live
Wishing all of you, and your loved ones, safety…and some peace.