The mental health variable in police interactions

Courtesy of Karen Griffin

Karen Griffin and her son, Jacob, have lunch on his 23rd birthday — 6 months before he died.

Even on our best days, for most of us, police interactions carry at least a small element of strain.

We want to get it right and are aware of the power differential. Emergencies, trauma, and potential fines or jail time all bring an additional sense of gravity to the moment.

When facing a mental health crisis, are police officers the best resource to call on?

In this episode, we hear a feature about one woman’s attempt to get help for her husband experiencing a mental health emergency. Then, we talk to one mother who called the police for help with her schizophrenic son, and that ended up being his last day. Finally, three experts join us to talk over non-police options for intervention in these moments and why peer support may just be the way of the future.

But first, NewsChannel 5 Investigative Reporter Levi Ismail joins the show to talk about why the station is piloting a new program where people who have been the subject of news stories in the past can apply to have the story taken down, or have their name removed from a story.


Special thanks to Anthony Fox, Michael Randolph, Amanda Clelland, Amanda Bracht, and Lindsey Krinks for their help with this episode!

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