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Nami Of Miami Response To Recent Killing Of A Mentally Ill Man By Police.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Miami  is deeply disturbed by this latest tragedy in the criminalization of mental illness. We are saddened by the shooting death by the police of 25 year old Lavall Hall, a young man suffering from mental illness. His mother, Catherine Daniels, called 911 to ask for help when he ran out of the house in a rage carrying a broom. Mrs. Daniels told the 911 operator that her son was mentally ill.  
People with mental illness need treatment.  We have inadequate resources devoted to helping those suffering from illness, and as a result they are on the streets, in our jails, or in the homes of family members who are challenged to take care of them.  Mental illness is treatable and should not be a death sentence for anyone. We in Miami-Dade County need to learn more, to understand why this sad event happened, and to come together as a community to make sure that no other family has to mourn the violent death of a loved one who suffers from mental illness.
 We feel immensely sorry for the patient, his family and the officer. We insist on fidelity to the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)  model.  This model  trains police officers about mental illness and then designates those who are qualified to be called to respond to emergency situations involving people with mental illness.The true CIT model, which has proven effective in defusing situations such as this one,  involves people with mental illness, their families, the specially trained officers and mental health practitioners in a humane, comforting and effective collaboration.   There is no question that proper training would help our police to not to use lethal force. This would benefit both the patient and the police. NAMI of Miami supports the NAMI model of  CIT training which has been designated a national best practice.
This tragedy should be a call to action for more crisis units, clear information for families about how to access help when needed; a review of our CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) training protocols and a well defined continuum of care for ill people who need or have had hospitalization.
Appropriate responses for this situation exist in major sophisticated cities and Miami should be one of them.

Spanish Translation

NAMI Miami está profundamente perturbado por esta última tragedia en la criminalización de la enfermedad mental. Las personas con enfermedad mental necesitan tratamiento. Tenemos la insuficiencia de recursos dedicados a ayudar a los que sufren de la enfermedad, y como resultado, se encuentran en las calles, en nuestras cárceles , o en las casas de los familiares que tienen el reto de cuidar de ellos . La enfermedad mental es tratable y no debe ser una sentencia de muerte para ninguna persona . Nosotros, en Miami -Dade necesitamos aprender más, para entender por qué este triste suceso ocurrió, y unirnos como una comunidad para asegurarse de que ninguna otra familia tenga que llorar la muerte violenta de un ser querido que sufre una enfermedad mental.
Lo ocurrido debe ser una llamada a la acción para más unidades de crisis, información clara a las familias sobre cómo acceder a la ayuda cuando sea necesario, una revisión de nuestro CIT (Entrenamiento de Intervención de Crisis) protocolos de entrenamiento y un continuo más profundo de la atención a las personas que necesitan o han tenido la hospitalización.


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