The National Alliance on Mental Illness recognizes the potentially deadly consequences of when police respond to calls involving people with mental Illness. That’s why the organization and its nearly 1,000 branches across the country are working diligently to encourage a more robust training of police in the area of mental health. For police, it’s hard to determine when a person is suffering mental illness. Whether it’s depression or full blown schizophrenia, a hostile encounter with persons suffering mental illness can lead to deadly force – especially if officers are not adequately trained to both recognize mental illness or how to deescalate negative or hostile behaviors. However, beginning in 2018, North Carolina is taking the bold step of ensuring that all of its officers are trained in the area of mental illness. In fact, according to Mental Health experts, the Tar Heel State is making officer graduation contingent on approved mental health training. ‘COMMUNITY VOICES’ host, Ron Holland delves into this important issue with Fonda Bryant, Coordinator and recently appointed Board Member of the Charlotte Branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
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