Episode 4 of "CBS Evening News Uncharted: State of Mind" examines how police departments and hospitals throughout the country are changing their approach to the mentally ill. The NYPD has provided crisis intervention training for thousands of officers, and CBS News got a look.
More than half of all prison and jail inmates in the U.S. have mental health issues, according to a study by the Justice Department. Police departments and hospitals throughout the country are working to change the way they interact with mentally ill individuals to keep them out of the criminal justice system.
“It’s very important that police are trained on how to handle that situation, so instead of it ramping up to be a problem, it calms down to be something that is not going to end up as a crime committed,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who is a practicing psychologist.
To properly deal with someone who is mentally ill, Dr. Glenda Wren of the Kennedy Center for Mental Health said that “we need to have police officers that are trained to properly recognize mental health presentations and then have a place to refer people to [for treatment].”