The city of Phoenix is planning on hosting a community forum regarding police crisis responses and their plans of actions for mental health calls.
New findings from a recent survey will be released at the forum. The survey highlights a need for increased treatment options for individuals experiencing mental illness and increased police training, in order to make the community safer for both police officers and the citizens they protect. More than 600 people completed the survey, and this number includes feedback from the lawn enforcement community, homeless individuals and individuals currently receiving mental health services.
Key findings in the survey include that a majority of respondents with mental health issues reported at minimum one interaction with the police in the past five years, and half of those individuals reported police helped them, while almost 45 percent said police made the situation worse. The survey also found that police officers reported feeling overwhelmed in these situations and need more mobile crisis teams and treatment options for the future.
The survey will be discussed at the community forum, complete with a question-and-answer-style session led by the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues and the city of Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department.
The event will take place on Monday, April 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park’s Memorial Hall.
Also in attendance will be Maricopa County’s Regional Behavioral Health Authority and representatives from the Phoenix Police and Fire departments.
The full report, titled “Phoenix Community Needs Assessment on Crisis Response for People with Mental Illness,” is available online at phoenix.gov/eod/commissions/disabilityissues.