In the five years to June 30th 2023, 54 people with mental health issues died as a result of the police being dispatched as first responders to a mental health incident. Too often the intervention of uniformed, armed police officers acts to escalate rather than de-escalate a situation with the consumer feeling cornered and threatened.

BEING, in conjunction with Mental Health Carers and other legal and human rights advocates are preparing a joint, open letter to NSW Premier Minns, and the Ministers for Mental Health and Police demanding a review of the use of police as first responders and recommending a solution that promotes the involvement of those with a lived experience of mental health issues (eg peer workers or clinicians,) as well as mental health training that includes first-hand stories by people with lived experience for all police officers.

Real-life stories are incredibly powerful in this kind of advocacy.

We want to include a dossier of personal stories from consumers and family/friend carers, providing evidence that the police are not the best first responders to a mental health episode. If you are someone who’s had a bad experience as a result of the police response to a mental health incident, or if you are a carer of a mental health consumer who has, please share your story by completing the form below.

Share your story: End police as mental health first responders

Whilst the form asks for your personal details so we can contact you if necessary, it is your choice whether to be identifiable with the story you share. You can remain anonymous.

Which of these best describes you?(Required)
Please provide details of how your experience of police behaviour demonstrates they are an inappropriate first response to a mental health call out. Be sure to include the approximate month and year these events happened.
Would you be willing to speak to the media?(Required)
It is possible that the media pick up our story and might want to speak to someone with first hand experience so please indicate if this is something you would consider. Your story will NOT be shared with the media without your express written permission. If you do decide to share your story with the media, you can still require them NOT to use your name in anything they publish.