In Minnesota, in a three-week period between November and December 2018, five people experiencing mental health crises were killed during encounters with law enforcement. Nationally, fully 50% of people killed by police had a disability.
Further, people with untreated mental illnesses are a staggering 16 times more likely to be shot and killed by police. “Some of them, it seems the person is almost executed,” said Ron Honberg, director of national policy and legal affairs at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the country’s premier mental health advocacy group.
These shocking statistics point unequivocally to the need to limit police-only contacts with people experiencing mental health crises.
In early 2019, CUAPB initiated our Mental Health Work Group to address this issue.
ENDING POLICE-ONLY RESPONSES TO MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CALLS
When police respond to mental health crisis calls, the results can be disastrous. People needing help end up in jail, or worse. Police officers themselves don't want to respond to these calls. CUAPB has written a white paper on ending this practice. It is a definitive guide to ensuring that people experiencing mental health crises get care, not criminalization.
- Ending Police-Only Responses to Mental Health Crisis Calls
- Joint Statement on Mental Health Crisis Response with NAMI Minnesota
In 2021, we took our fight to the legislature with Travis' Law (MN Statute 403.03, Subd. 1b), which requires 911 call centers to send mental health crisis teams, instead of police, to mental health crisis calls. The bill became law on August 31, 2021. Since then, we have held workshops for county staff across the state to assist them with implementation. We have also developed an advertising campaign to inform community members of this new right.
- Letter by Flo Ching, Mother of Travis Jordan, to Legislature
- Understanding Travis' Law
- Implementing Travis' Law Workshop, Part 1
- Implementing Travis' Law Workshop, Part 2
The CUAPB Mental Health Work Group meets every Sunday at 5 pm. Like the rest of CUAPB, we are all volunteers and we would love to have your help. Please email [email protected] to get involved.