It’s time for a new advocacy project that’ll have me inconvenient and unwelcome again. My team and I are organized and ready to create the only real solution to peer and police safety.
Here’s the thing. In all my involvement in CIT and law enforcement mental health crisis training, the one constant is Police Safety First. There are two troubling factors about this core law enforcement principle:
- Law enforcenent officers are on default alert for “I might have to shoot someone.”
- Special training is necessary to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Even the generalized organization title – law enforcement – betrays a useless preordained response attitude:
This attitude is not productive and is frontloaded failure. These are important considerations:
- A mental health crisis situation requires a medical response and not a tactical response.
- A peer in crisis cannot be shot by a first responder if the first responder doesn’t have a gun.
- Law enforcement officers are the wrong first responders for a mental health crisis.
This will change. And we have a solid plan of action to ensure it does.
It’s been a long time since I had a worthwhile advocacy project. I’m in this for the peers.
Stand Up To Stigma
This is a new advocacy project and I would like to be clear that this is my personal project and not a Stand Up To Stigma position.
It’s important our peer support groups are apolitical and apart from policy advocacy.
To ensure the distinction, we’ve designed a separate entity: Peer Safety First Collaborative. PSFC.