Interacting with Persons Who May Have Mental Health

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Interacting with Persons Who May Have Mental Health Issues

Interacting with Persons Who May Have Mental Health Issues

Law Enforcement Liaisons M Our Mission Improve knowledge base and skills of officers dealing

Law Enforcement Liaisons M Our Mission Improve knowledge base and skills of officers dealing with mentally ill people in crisis G Our Goal Build bridges between mental health and law enforcement

Is It a Police Emergency? q 911 is your best friend! q Some of

Is It a Police Emergency? q 911 is your best friend! q Some of the information needed: u. Who you are u. Where you are u. Nature of the call u. Description of the party u. What the party is doing/saying/telling you u. Any weapons involved u. Anyone injured u. Call-back number

The Fact and Fiction of Mental Illness What Some Believe… The Fact is… They

The Fact and Fiction of Mental Illness What Some Believe… The Fact is… They must be cared for; can’t make their own decisions They are capable and have a right to make their own decisions They are less intelligent No, it is the symptoms of mental illness They are resistant to treatment and difficult to engage No, the needs of the mentally ill are just more complex

The Fact and Fiction of Mental Illness What Some Believe… Mental illness is a

The Fact and Fiction of Mental Illness What Some Believe… Mental illness is a lifelong disease with no cure People with mental illness are more prone to violent acts The Fact is… Recovery possible; they can and do lead productive lives Studies have shown only a weak association between mental illness and violence However there is an increased risk when alcohol or drug use is involved

Communication: Your Most Effective Tool q 7% of communication is verbal q 93% of

Communication: Your Most Effective Tool q 7% of communication is verbal q 93% of communication is not communicated by spoken words When communicating always keep this in mind: Sometimes it is not about the words but how you say the words… § Your posture, your mannerisms § The words themselves

If You Can Slow the Event Down… Time can be your friend. It may:

If You Can Slow the Event Down… Time can be your friend. It may: �Help reduce stress and anxiety �Increase rationality �Decrease emotions �Person may “surrender” �Allow you to gain more information to better enable responding law enforcement and EMS personnel to do their job

Regarding Your Interactions Attempt to get the individual talking so that you can fully

Regarding Your Interactions Attempt to get the individual talking so that you can fully understand why they are angry Think about using verbal pacing techniques… Sensory: “I sense you are angry” Visual: “I see that you need help” Auditory: “I hear what you are saying”

Diffusion Strategies q Appear confident q Display calmness q Create some space q Speak

Diffusion Strategies q Appear confident q Display calmness q Create some space q Speak slowly, gently and clearly q Lower your voice q Indicate a willingness to understand help q Show that you are listening

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… Anxiety/ Agitation Aggressive/ Inappropriate Behavior What

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… Anxiety/ Agitation Aggressive/ Inappropriate Behavior What might help… § Ask the person to slow down § Don’t demand answers § Give the person enough personal space § Reassure person there is time to sort the situation out § Can you remove the source of agitation/anxiety? § Set limits on behavior § Be aware of threatening statements and take them seriously

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… What might help… Hallucinations Delusions §

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… What might help… Hallucinations Delusions § Do not argue with hallucinations or delusions § Accept that this is what the person believes or perceives Loss of Contact w/Reality § Support reality based statements § Do not encourage statements that are not real § Be careful with use of touch Slow Response § Allow person to formulate a response § Be patient

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… What might help… Difficulty Establishing Directed

Interactions & Problem Solving If you see this… What might help… Difficulty Establishing Directed Activity § Make expectations clear and concise § Help person identify meaningful tasks and break these down into doable tasks Difficulty Making Decisions § Limit number of decisions to be made § Take a directive stance that relate to a person’s safety Exaggerated Response § Use clear concise questions and statements

Avoid Doing These Things Move suddenly Challenge delusions/halluc inations Mislead Express person anger/irritation or

Avoid Doing These Things Move suddenly Challenge delusions/halluc inations Mislead Express person anger/irritation or shout Force discussions Be very careful w/ your use of touch Assume they cannot hear you Use inflammatory language It is NOT personal

Rules for Personal Safety • Protect yourself with distance, avoid being surrounded and maintain

Rules for Personal Safety • Protect yourself with distance, avoid being surrounded and maintain an open line of flight • Never physically engage the person you are confronting • Never argue with an intoxicated person - it may lead to a physical confrontation • Never agree to meet the intoxicated person elsewhere or outside • If your physical safety is threatened, call for assistance

…would the situation best be resolved with police assistance? For Emergencies call 911 Non-Emergencies

…would the situation best be resolved with police assistance? For Emergencies call 911 Non-Emergencies use police business line If I think it is a person with mental health issues…