In 2015, an estimated 43.4 million adults in the United States were living with mental illness[i] and it is estimated that 450 million people globally live with a mental illness[ii]. The identification and care of persons affected by mental illness has largely fallen to law enforcement in recent years due to a decline in the availability of community mental health resources. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) decided to confront this important issue of improving the encounters between law enforcement and persons affected by mental illness.
In March 2016, the IACP convened a panel of law enforcement and mental health experts to address law enforcement’s response and this collaboration resulted in the One Mind Campaign. Since its inception, the One Mind Campaign has focused on four promising practices to guide departments as they seek to improve their interactions with persons affected by mental illness:
- Establish a clearly defined and sustainable relationship with at least one community mental health organization
- Develop and implement a written policy addressing law enforcement response to persons affected by mental illness
- Demonstrate that 100 percent of sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) are trained and certified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
- Demonstrate that 20 percent of sworn officers (and selected non-sworn staff, such as dispatchers) are trained and certified on the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training
Today, 139 agencies have taken the One Mind Campaign pledge and committed to completing the four promising practices within 12-36 months. The network of agencies continues to grow and as it grows, agencies will interact with each other and with the IACP in finding creative solutions to implement these practices within their own communities.
In June 2017, the IACP, in coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) GAIN Center, hosted a Best Practice Implementation Academy (BPIA) with 23 agencies representing 3 projects: Data Driven Justice, the Stepping Up initiative, and the One Mind Campaign. Eight of the twenty-three agencies were departments recommended by the One Mind Campaign team; a combination of ‘best practices’ departments and departments working to implement the promising practices within their communities. The departments worked collaboratively to attend to individual challenges different locales face, bringing together new and innovative solutions to long-standing problems.
The goal of the BPIA was to share best practices and identify opportunities to provide follow-on technical assistance among departments. In August 2017, three of the eight BPIA participating police departments will host a regional symposium to encourage greater regional One Mind Campaign participation. The three police departments are: Arlington, Texas; Orland Park, Illinois; and French Settlement, Louisiana. The host departments are being asked to utilize their regional influence to encourage local departments and behavioral health professionals to attend the symposium and commit to taking the One Mind Campaign pledge.
To learn more about the One Mind Campaign visit the IACP website.
[i] Any Mental Illness (AMI) Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-adults.shtml
[ii] World Health Organization. “Mental disorders affect one in four people.” Treatment Available but not Being Used (2001).