Date of Award
Crisis Response;Mental health;Policing
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Understanding the ways police officers and people with lived experience of mental illness interact during mental health calls is imperative to improving the outcomes of these encounters. Despite increased attention and public calls for change, little is known about the complex ways police officers and people with mental illness interact during a mental health crisis. To address the paucity of literature, this study sought answers to critical and under-explored areas to better understand the context and characteristics of these interactions. The overarching research question for this study was: How do people with mental illness and police officers experience interacting with one another during a mental health crisis? Specifically, this study asked participants to expand on their descriptions of the context and characteristics of incidents, interventions and outcomes, their perceptions of officer roles, their perception of the dangerousness of these encounters, and what they want others, including each other, to know. This study used in-depth interviews conducted with 18 participants from across Canada including 13 people with lived experience of mental illness, and five police officers. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using NVivo version 12 software. Findings from this study illustrate the complexity and diversity of these interactions as well as the similarities and differences in experiences described by both groups. Findings from this study can be used to further develop policy, practice, and research, that includes people with lived experience of mental illness in meaningful ways.
Faubert, Sarah, "An Exploration of Encounters Between People with Lived Experience of Mental Illness and Police Officers" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 9209.