Responding to the Emotionally Disturbed Person

Policing can be unpredictable, and there are few times this is truer than when an officer is responding to an incident involving an emotionally disturbed person (EDP).

The popular notion of the police as intrepid crime fighters – the thin blue line – is only part of the police role in society. Policing is about serving as well as protecting, and often that means responding to incidents involving the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed. These are some of the most common calls you will take on as a police officer so understanding mental illness and how best to respond to it is a critical job skill. In fact, mental disorders are likely to play a significant role in many of the crimes you investigate and knowing how to recognize and accommodate the mentally ill offender, victim, or witness will enhance your skill set.

This interactive class, taught by an experienced husband and wife team, provides a solid foundation for understanding mental illness and practical instruction in “best practice” response. It is a valuable tool for your law enforcement career.

Course Outline

Here are some of the key points covered in this training:

  • A brief history of law enforcement’s response to the mentally ill
  • The important role of the police
  • The (surprising) prevalence of mental illness
  • Developing a “best practice” response to psychiatric emergencies
  • Mental Health and the Law – Protect their rights & Reduce your liability
  • Understanding and responding to commonly encountered disorders
  • Self-Injuring Behavior
  • Suicide Attempts
  • Arrest/Don’t arrest – Knowing when to take enforcement action
  • The power of the pen – Writing effective reports

Need an article? Mike and Althea have written extensively on issues of interest to the law enforcement community both individually and as a team.