In light of the recent criticisms of the Victorian Police for their lack of training in dealing with mentally ill people I felt they got a bit of a raw deal.
The many times we have had to call them out to assist with Feral Aspie they have been absolutely superb with immediate help, suggestions, calls to specialsts and hospitals; there was only 1 individual I disagreed with (and followed it up with a phone call to her the next day, sorted it because she was willing to listen) but that was through the misunderstanding Autism/Aspergers/ABI brings with the fluctuating behaviours not fitting into a strict mental health mould.
How often do you think the police escort a person to the nearest public hospital emergency room to get treatment for suicidal/unacceptable behaviours only to watch the person refuse admission/get told to see their private doctor/come back when there's an R in the month and waltz back onto the street - still in an unstable mental status - while the police are still filling in the paperwork for the call-out in the first place?
It happens very, very often.....
The system is not rigged to work for mental health patients; it is for regular, garden variety illnesses and, over the years, the mental health system (with patients, staff and differing problems/laws galore) has been forced to fit in alongside the over-stretched general health model, and now most times inside the over-stretched general health hospitals seeing as public specialist mental health hospitals got flogged off to the highest bidder *ahem*
And, let's be honest here, folks, it's not like the police are likely to be called to attend an afternoon soiree with a mentally ill person, to pass buttered finger buns and sip tea from bone china cups.
No, they usually get called out to help someone who has been let down by the garden variety health system; someone in mental distress who has become out of control for one reason or another.
This is what they are confronted with - the end result of a broken system.
I know I certainly couldn't do their job.