Advocacy E-News July 1, 2015
July 1, 2015
SHOOTINGS BY COPS IN HACKENSACK SPUR ACTION; TASK FORCE FORMING
In response to two recent police-involved fatal shootings of Hackensack residents, the city manager, mayor and council announced this week that they will form a task force to help people with mental illnesses. Rosalva Lantigua, mother of Raymond Peralta-Lantigua, said she’d called police for help with her son’s anger and depression, hoping they could take him somewhere for treatment. Police say Peralta-Lantigua had a kitchen knife when he charged a responding officer and was shot and killed outside his home on Johnson Avenue.
LONG TAUGHT TO USE FORCE, POLICE WARILY LEARN TO DE-ESCALATE
Across the country, police departments from Seattle to New York and Dallas to Salt Lake City are rethinking notions of policing that have held sway for 40 years. At the forefront are de-escalation tactics, the variety of methods officers use to defuse potentially violent encounters, such as talking and behaving calmly and reasonably with sometimes unreasonable people.
But some of the officers’ reactions show just how hard it might be to change entrenched ideas about what their job involves.
AFRICAN-AMERICANS RELUCTANT TO TREAT MENTAL ILLNESS
Although federal studies estimate that as many as 25 percent of Americans have some form of mental illness, far fewer seek treatment. Newark mental health advocate April Wilson fights for others as the Alliance on Mental Illness president in Essex/Passaic County
SHORTAGE OF CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS PLAGUES THE US
A study published in the American Psychiatric Association journal Psychiatric Services showed that the average waiting time in major U.S. metropolitan areas to see a child psychiatrist was 25 days for a first visit. A remedy may be the push toward the integrated collaborative care model, in which the psychiatrist works in close coordination with the rest of the youth’s health care providers. There are now 34 states in the U.S. that are implementing this model.