01 April 2013

Responding to a Mental Health Crisis

Bergen County New Jersey Community Health Project (CHIP) that illustrates how individuals, law enforcement, and mental health professionals work together ...

mental illness is a disease at times the

disease may cause a person to behave in a way that can pose an immediate threat to himself others or property in these situations help is available law enforcement and mental health screening agencies work in partnership to maintain safety prevent injury and link the individual and crisis to necessary treatment in this video you will see what can happen when a person experiences a mental health crisis and how family members police and mental health screeners respond to the crisis 9-1-1 where's your emergency my son bill is outside the house he's yelling at a pedestrian and running toward him he has a history of schizophrenia and he's not on his medication right now I need someone sent immediately all right Memphis he near you was he in the house or Z no he's outside all right does he have any weapons can he hurt himself for you no no he's not carrying a weapon and he's not normally violent two minutes later two police officers arrived at the scene the first police officer known as the contact officer will be engaging the person in crisis the second officer known as the backup officer will be

responsible for overseeing the entire situation and retrieving any pertinent information from witnesses or family members hey hey stop watching me yeah you stop watching me I see you watching me with your with you look and you're watching and you're reporting on me and I just I can't have that I just want to be left alone so leave me alone get out of here go get out of here stop watching me I said stop watching me stop watching me please I just want to be left alone just leave me alone get out of here sergeant Garrity who called you what are you doing here I'm not doing anything can we talk someone called and said you appeared to be upset you'd be upset too if you were monitored like me I just want to be left alone what's your name what can I call you I'm bill Billy you feeling okay today I'm fine everyone just needs to leave me alone I don't need people walking by and reporting on me bill we're here to help you why don't you have a seat on the stairs over there and talk to me let me see what I can do just leave me alone someone called and said he appeared to be upset and that you were yelling at

people there anyone that might want to hurt you or is angry with you just go away I don't need more people watching me why is it always me bill I want to help you no one's gonna hurt you with us here my partner officer Baker is right over there and we'll watch out for us okay why don't you tell me what's going on my family is watching me yeah they're worried that I'm going to do something okay like what I don't know I never do I asked them to stop but they won't bill I'd like to talk to you a bit more but this is not the most private of areas would it be okay with you to come back to my headquarters with me it's safe there and we can talk privately okay can you drive me back afterwards should not be a problem how about you sit in my car okay bill you don't have anything on you that could hurt me do you know I'm just gonna check for our protection okay okay sergeant Garrity the contact officer and bill go to police headquarters meanwhile the backup officer knocks on the door of Bill's house and talks to Bill's mother she hands the officer an index card with key information about Bill's mental

health issues the police departments dispatch is notified that sergeant Garrity and Bill are coming to the station the police dispatch also calls the psychiatric screening program to 6:00 to help located at Bergen Regional Medical Center to come to police headquarters and evaluate Bill fifteen minutes later to 6:00 to help arrives at police headquarters to conduct bills evaluation hi sergeant Garrity I'm Amy from 262 help the service of care plus New Jersey I'm here to evaluate Bill hi Amy bills in our interview room he's calmed down but he's still a bit paranoid that he's being watched I'll stay by your side as you're asking questions okay great come on let's go inside thank you hi Bill I'm Amy from Bergen County psychiatric emergency screening program sergeant Garrity was concerned about you and asked me to come speak with you today can you tell me a little bit about what happened I'm not going to speak to you you're one of them bill just answer the lady's questions remember we told you you're going to have to answer just a

few questions I know that you're recording this whole conversation I'm not going to talk to you you're just after my knowledge everyone is well I can tell you that we're not recording this conversation and I'm really here because I'm concerned and I want to make sure that you're okay I'm not going to talk to you at all and just going to not share anything here the 260 to help screeners role is to conduct as much of the evaluation as possible depending on how lucid and alert the individual is in this situation the screener attempts to engage bill but is unsuccessful the screener excuses herself from the room to call Bill's mother for more information hello hi is Nancy available is she hi Nancy my name is Amy I'm a certified mental health screener with 262 health Bergen County psychiatric emergency screening program I Amy I was advised her son's experiencing mental health crisis today and was asked to come out and evaluate him at police headquarters can you please tell me a little bit about what happened this morning the screener will speak with the individual in crisis and others involved in the

case using this information the screener will determine the best course of action action steps can include referring the individual to resources or sending the individual and crisis to the designated screening center for further evaluation and treatment in this case the assessment calls for bill to be transported to the designated screening center at Bergen Regional Medical Center's emergency room once at the hospital bill will be seen by a medical doctor to evaluate his physical condition after he is medically cleared he will be evaluated by a psychiatrist throughout the intervention the focus is on the person in crisis but it is important to remember the effects the crisis will have on family members and loved ones there is support available from Nami Bergen County the National Alliance on Mental Illness we hope you found this video to be helpful the most important thing to remember is that help is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year from 262 health and the police