An Officer’s Response to a Mental Health Crisis

Posted on February 4, 2022

Mental Health

Mental Health is just as important as our physical health. There has been an increase in mental health issues since the pandemic. As part of Montgomery’s “Mental Health Awareness Initiative,” officers from the Montgomery PD will be sharing information and resources from their actual training and experience. This article will be the first in a series of articles addressing Mental Health and resources available in the community.

Montgomery Officers routinely respond to calls for people suffering from mental health issues. These are some of the most challenging calls to navigate because they are unpredictable. Individuals often suffer from multiple issues, including mental illness, chronic illness, or addiction. Families are usually at a breaking point before calling for help. Officers will attempt to balance the need for treatment first while assessing any criminal elements and determining the best course of action for each situation. If no criminal acts have occurred, officers will work with all parties to get the proper treatment.

If an individual is creating an immediate risk to themselves or others, officers can sign a 72-hour commitment to a psychiatric unit, even if they do not want treatment. Officers must have evidence to support the involuntary hold, and it must be convincing. The hold is temporary, and officers will transport the person to the facility to be assessed by a medical professional. The individual will be given a treatment plan and connected to other resources. Patients are generally released before the 72-hour window. Situations like this could involve an individual threatening suicide or bodily injury.

If the person is not an immediate threat, officers will make an initial assessment and call the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) to respond to the scene. The MCT is part of the Hamilton County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board. It is staffed by mental health professionals who have experience and training to assist officers in crisis situations. This might include a manic person who has not slept for days and is not taking medication. The MCT can meet with the individual and their family to develop a treatment plan and connect them to resources. They can also make recommendations for care and set up a safety plan.

Another method of working with an individual in crisis is to have them voluntarily seek medical treatment through a local emergency room or an existing medical professional. Voluntarily seeking treatment is the preferred course of action because the person is actively seeking treatment which likely will increase the acceptance of any recommended course of treatment. An individual having suicidal thoughts can call 911 or drive to an emergency room to seek treatment. The family and friends support structure often helps individuals take this first step.

The Montgomery Police Department would like to remind everyone that help is out there. Feel free to contact an officer at Montgomery Police Department at 513-985-1600 for more information or utilize any of the resources on the opposite page for assistance.

Mental-Health-LogoMental Health Community Resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: or 800-273-8255
  • Mobile Crisis Team: 513-584-5098
  • Mental Health Access Point: or 513-558-8888
  • Mental Health & Recover Services: or 513-281-2273
  • Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services: or 513-354-5200
  • Recovery Center of Hamilton County: or 513-241-1411
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): or 800-950-6264
  • Montgomery Police Department: or 513-985-1600
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