By Dr David Laing Dawson

Of course the police should and must be involved in any wellness check, mental health crisis or behavioural disturbance call. If the police involved in such calls should have special training and what kind of training is another question. And whether or not such calls should be responded to by a joint group or team or partnership with mental health professionals is yet another.

There are currently hundreds of such programs in operation in the western world. It occurred to me we could study them to determine which work best, that is, which are most successful at resolving the crises without violence, and have good short term and long term outcomes.

Of course a quick Google search finds there are some studies available.

So a small group of researchers could be assigned the task of reviewing all the studies available as well as compiling descriptions of all such services in the western world, and honing this down to determine the best and most effective models for different size populations. AI could speed up this process.

There’s no need to argue about any of this. We should be choosing the models with best proven outcomes (short and long term) and implementing them.

We can let the bureaucrats add all the extra paragraphs about inclusivity, sensitivity, lived-experience, community buy-in, traditional healing practices, alternative medicine, and pronoun and language use after the model has been chosen.

More importantly it is one thing to resolve the crisis without violence, it is another to have the resources to provide the acute and long term care needed to prevent relapse and re-occurrence.

To support what Marvin writes, several times over the years I was there at the scene with the police. They were always good.


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