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Police and Mental Health Professionals Respond to Calls Together

Occasionally, those suffering from a mental illness encounter situations that prevent them from maintaining control of how their illness impacts the. Those around the person in crisis may not know how to help in these cases. When situations escalate, the best course of action is to contact a trained professional. Previously, the only reasonable option was to contact a psychiatric doctor. Today, the best option may be to call 9-1-1. A meta analysis studying police and mental health professionals co-responding to 9-1-1 calls, reported that between seven and 31 percent involved someone with a mental illness (Shapiro et al, 2015). That number is increasing in...

Mental Health Myths

Understanding surrounding mental health has improved significantly over the past decade, but there are still many misconceptions about the subject. One of the more surprising myths about mental health is explained by the United States Department of Health & Human Services on their webpage “Mental Health Myths and Facts.” Here, they reveal that the phrase, “mental health problems don’t affect me” (A. 2013, p.1), is often less true than those uttering the words would like to believe. According to Mental Health Facts in America, “43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year” (2017). That equates to one in five adults. Despite mental health’s prevalence...

The Disadvantages of Stress

Stress is an unavoidable part of our daily lives. What was originally meant to increase survival rates and aid instincts has now transitioned into an inextricably linked factor present in most all life experiences and interactions. Being overly stressed can have extremely negative effects on both physical and mental health. We live in a society that for some reason glorifies stress. We are more likely to praise the broke college student juggling their studies along with jobs and multiple campus organizations or an office tycoon balancing multiple accounts at once opposed to less involved lifestyles that are generally accompanied by less stress or stress...

The Important Role of Support in Child Mental Health Cases

Many often assume mental health problems can only affect adults. While it’s true adults are older and, therefore, have generally had more interactive experiences, children are equally as susceptible to mental health disparities. The United States has undeniably seen an increase in mental health cases over the last decade. “Today, mental health care represents 38 percent of children’s Medicaid spending, which is used by just 10 percent of juvenile Medicaid patients. But the benefits far outweigh the costs. Today’s investments help to heal children and produce resilient adults. In the long term, effective treatments not only save lives but have significant economic benefits, including savings...

The Increase of Mental Health Cases in Healthcare Facilities

Every year thousands of people seek help for mental health. Yet, hospitals and emergency rooms are understaffed and underprepared for the plethora of mental health patients waiting to be seen. Opinions on mental health vary widely and often exist on a gray scale. Some believe we are living in an age stricken with a mental health epidemic that only continues to grow while others believe the rise of the mental health diagnoses stems from laziness and fear of facing problems head on. The stigmatism surrounding mental health is dangerous on all sides--often times because it avoids the true core factors that cause mental health instability....

Indie Video Game Explores Depression, Offers Hope

“I suppose some actions which others would find relaxing might be horribly demanding for you.” The British voiceover of the trailer for Please Knock on My Door pensively delivers this line. On screen, a cube shaped protagonist toddles around a room, fiddling with a computer, then moving back to a couch, then back to the computer. Please Knock on My Door is a soon-to-be-released indie game described as a “choice-driven narrative depression, social anxiety, and general phobias” (McCarthy 2016, p.1). Please Knock is based on the experiences of the creator, Michael Levall, with depression. Said Levall, “Every single thing in the game that you...

The Truth about Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse cases are being called in to American police departments more than ever before. From a police officer's point of view, “'It's certainly the most dangerous calls that we can go on. Domestic violence calls are very unpredictable. You have to have compassion when you approach them, but you have to be vigilant,’ Lt. Thomas Haynes with Town of Tonawanda Police Department said” (Moore, 2017). Police must proceed with caution in order to prevent situations from escalating further. Sheriff King of Maine, says, “their work begins before deputies get to the scene. Dispatchers are key, flagging any history of violence at the home. ‘When...

The Significance Behind the Prevalence of Depression

Depression has started to reveal itself in a startling conglomeration of diverse examples.  While depression diagnoses in cancer patients isn’t uncommon, recent studies have found elevated levels of depression in cancer caregivers. Since the vast majority of Americans have been affected in someway by cancer, whether through individual struggles or experiences with loved-ones, these elevated depression numbers need to be closely observed. After close investigations, depressive symptoms were linked to physical health decline as “caregivers with high depressive symptoms showed twice the rate of physical health decline of caregivers with an average level of depressive symptoms” (Medical Press, 2017). Caregivers often go above and beyond...

Annapolis Police to Improve Response to Mental Illness

This week, the Annapolis Police Department joined the ranks of over 120 other agencies pledged to the One Mind Campaign, an endeavor by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to improve the relationship between officers and those affected by mental illness. The One Mind Campaign asks pledging agencies to implement four practices over a 12-36 month period. These practices include establishing a partnership with one or more community mental health organization(s); developing and implementing a model policy addressing police response to persons with mental illness; training and certifying 100 percent of the agency’s sworn officers, as well as selected non-sworn staff, Mental Health...

The Stigmatization of Mentally Ill Prisoners and Why We Need Criminal...

Severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, affects approximately four percent of the general U.S. population. That figure jumps to approximately 15 percent when examining individuals in jails across the nation. In comparison to inmates who don’t have a serious mental illness, those who do tend to stay in jail longer. This is attributed to their higher rates of exposure to the physical and emotional traumas of incarceration, which then often leads to violence and self-harm. While incarcerated, prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate health care. This includes treatment for mental health; yet jails are so overwhelmed by the growth of inmate...