Police, social worker team up to help mentally ill
Police in Burbank, Calif., responded to the call of a 70-something man who was suicidal.
Instead of immediately arresting the man police officer Kristiana Sanchez brought clinical social worker Svitlana Anishchenko, MSW, with her, this article in the Burbank Leader said.
Anishchenko sat down with the man and asked how he was feeling. The man told her voices were telling him to shoot or drown himself, but not hurt anyone.
The man’s wife and daughter asked that he not be handcuffed as he was led out and police complied. Anishchenko then got busy on the phone to find him the right hospital.
Sanchez and Anishchenko are part of the Burbank Police Department’s new Mental Health Evaluation Team, which was designed to tackle the rising number of mental illness-related police reports. Burbank police said they receive a call related to mental illness about 1.5 times a day.
Instead of incarcerating these people, police and social workers work together to find them proper mental healthcare services.
“It’s a tremendous benefit to the community and leads to efficiencies on our part — we’re not going to be needlessly running out to repeat calls because we can take care of it in a permanent or semi-permanent fashion,” interim Burbank police Chief Scott LaChasse said. “It’s a cost savings to us, and the community benefits.”
Cheers to the Burbank Leader for an article that showing the services social workers provide in the areas of mental health and law enforcement.
Social workers help clients overcome depression, anxiety, stress and other mental problems. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Mind and Spirit website by clicking here.| Leave A Comment