Responding to Persons Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

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Responding to Persons Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

Policy Center Resource

Responding to situations involving individuals reasonably believed to be persons in crisis (PIC) necessitates an officer to make difficult judgments about the mental state and intent of the individual and necessitates the use of special skills, techniques, and abilities to effectively and appropriately resolve the situation, while minimizing violence. The goal is to de-escalate the situation safely for all individuals involved when reasonable and consistent with established safety priorities. However, applicable law of the jurisdiction shall guide the detention of PIC.

Law enforcement agencies should provide officers with training to determine whether a person’s behavior is indicative of a mental health crisis and with guidance, techniques, response options, and resources so that the situation may be resolved in as constructive, safe, and humane a manner as possible.

These documents provide guidance to law enforcement officers when responding to or encountering persons experiencing a mental health crisis. 

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