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“Cops Shouldn’t Be First at Scene in Mental Health Crises” – Dr. Amanda Fialk Featured in USA Today

“Being mentally ill is not a crime. Being suicidal is not a crime. Having a substance use diagnosis is not a crime. The unfortunate reality, however, is that police officers have become the first responders to mental health emergency calls — a response that criminalizes mental illness and increases fear, trauma, stigma, shame and mistrust.”

In November 2020 New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a pilot program to end the city’s de facto police response to mental health emergencies. Dorm Partner and Chief of Clinical Services Amanda Fialk, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, responds.

As a mental health provider, I am encouraged and relieved by this new initiative. It will allow New Yorkers, and perhaps the entire country, to reimagine how to address the mental and physical safety of those who are frequently put in danger by insufficiently trained officers.

– Dr. Amanda Fialk

Published in:

USA Today

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