Police Reform From the Perspective of Mental Health Services and Professionals: Our Role in Social Change

Amy C Watson, Leah G Pope, Michael T Compton
2021 Psychiatric Services  
Calls to defund and reform police agencies have been emphasized in recent public discourse. Demands range from shuttering police agencies to shifting resources and responsibility for responding to noncriminal social and behavioral health vulnerabilities to the health and social services sector. This Open Forum discusses how police officers became primary responders to behavioral health concerns, how this arrangement disproportionately and negatively affects communities of color, and several
more » ... tions to these circumstances. The mental health field must advocate for the policies and resources needed to address urgent mental health needs and crisis response. Several conditions for successful outcomes that do not further compound racial inequities are discussed.
doi:10.1176/appi.ps.202000572 pmid:33887954 fatcat:kg7iymh2ircybea7xmdpumvsi4