Letter: Look to alternatives for mental health crisis response

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding the letter, “Speak Out About What We Want From Police,” Nov. 18, Xpress]: On the basis of a 44-year career in nursing, the bulk of it in the field of mental health, I share this. Intervention in a situation involving a person in the midst of a psychotic episode is both frightening and dangerous. Those of us in the field are specifically trained in the areas of crisis management, de-escalation techniques and physical restraint.

With that reality, having an armed and untrained person involved is asking for trouble. And that doesn’t take into account the possibility of racial bias.

To expect the police person to arrive on the scene and “fix it” is both unrealistic and simplistic. Time to look to alternatives.

— Margot Kornfeld


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