How do police treat people with mental disorders?

Stigma, Mental Disorders, And The Police

There needs to be increased training for our police force about mental disorders. Too many mistakes are being made.


Stigma is defined as a social construct by which a distinguishing character, as deemed by society, is attached to others in order to devalue them. In relation to those with mental disorders, their illness is the distinguishing character that is used to devalue them. Throughout history, those with mental disorders have been stigmatized for unknown reasons, other than they are different from the norm. Even now, many are afraid to speak up about or seek help for their mental health issues because mental illness isn't deemed "real" by many, and access to care is limited.

As a society, we have made strides in understanding mental disorders and the stigmas that follow. However, we need to work to end the belief we have done "enough" or "things are better now". Yes, many celebrities and influential individuals have become more open about mental illness, which is slowly breaking down the wall that pushes those in need into silence, but there is still education to be done. For instance, as someone who work with children and adults with disabilities, it hurts me every time I read an article or see a news segment about an individual with mental disabilities being wrongly treated by our police force because police officers do not have the proper training to decipher those with mental disorders from an individual who may be a danger to the community.

As a result of the stigma experienced by those with mental illness, self-stigma, or the prejudice towards oneself, can occur. This leads those with mental illnesses to refuse help because they do not want to face discrimination from society. Over a third of inpatient psychiatric patients refuse medications, and those who refused medications have higher rates of threats and assaults, which only goes to show that public stigmas towards the mentally disorders have a strong correlation with the refusal of treatments by those in need. Because these individuals refuse treatment, their behavior because erratic, which is the leading cause to mistreatment by the police force who are not able to quickly determine the difference between someone with a mental disorder, or someone who is on drugs.

In the end, the best and only way to end the negative effects of stigma on those with mental illness is to increase education. Especially for individuals, like first and the police force, who may come into contact with these individuals in complex situations.

Popular Right Now

These Are The Best Vaccination Alternatives Already On The Market

Because we know that sometimes, an essential oil is better than science.


Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.


Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

Related Content

Facebook Comments