“Policing Mental Health” A Three-Part Series
Bedlam: Documentary and Panel Discussion “Policing Mental Health”
CONNECT Summit County, in collaboration with YWCA Utah, teamed up to sponsor and host this powerful event in response to the current mental health crisis. This plight has its roots in the well-intentioned, but ultimately disastrous, federal policies that closed long-term mental health care facilities in the 1970’s. The unintended consequences that resulted in the shift from institutionalized care to community care include the appalling rates of E.R. utilization, homelessness, and criminalization of the seriously mentally ill.
It’s also resulted in the necessity of calling upon law enforcement and the criminal justice system to respond to and address the most serious mental health crisis’ and challenges in our communities. This panel brings together people with diverse experience in working to create equitable solutions to combat the criminalization of those who suffer from mental illness. This conversation is to encourage community members and policy-makers to have a raw discussion regarding our state’s crisis response.
Our panel included:
- Aliah Hall, LCSW
- Detective Felicia Sotelo, Summit County Drug Court
- Dr. Anu Asnaani, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in Psychology, University of Utah
- Julia Loughlin, Family Educator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and family member with a mental health diagnosis
- Liz Owens, CEO, YWCA Utah
This conversation stands on its own but was inspired by “BEDLAM: A Documentary” shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.
Crisis Response and YOUR Community
This virtual conversation was created to empower individuals and communities to implement more effective mental health crisis response. We offered this event to further our mission of creating a stigma-free community with mental health resources for all, especially when someone is in crisis. From the recording, you’ll learn what some communities are doing and what you can do to help improve your community’s mental health crisis response.
- Todd Souter, CIT-Utah Coordinator for Davis County Behavioral Health and President of CIT Utah
- Sherri Wittwer, from CIT-Utah and Utah Disability Law Center
- Aaron Newman, Summit County Behavioral Health Director
- Wendy O’Leary, Impact Director, CONNECT Summit County
Through their professional experience, they helped us understand what the barriers are to effective crisis response and how to advocate for change.
To follow up in this conversation Wendy, Todd and Sherri got together to address a few questions that came up after our initial conversation. This 30-minute conversion is packed with helpful information to help you navigate calling 911 for someone in mental health crisis.