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At long last, law enforcement is addressing mental health issues by training officers in how to work with people when they are called out to situations that involve individuals exhibiting mental health issues. As a mental health counselor, it will be important for you to know how a client with mental health issues might be treated if s/he is in a situation where law enforcement is involved.

For this paper, think about the county in which you plan to work. (Harris County – Houston, TX or Brazoria Country – Pearland, TX) Contact local authorities in that county and gather information on the training for officers and the assessment they are trained to use.

Questions to ask:

Does the particular county (sheriff or police department) have mental health officers? What is the criteria for training officers (i.e., a certain age, length of service, an interest in receiving the training)? What assessment does the department use for individuals exhibiting mental health issues? In what way is the assessment culturally sensitive or created for a cultural diverse population? In what way does the assessment address the faith of the individual? What are indicators for referral of individuals exhibiting mental health issues? How does the assessment screen for SUD (Substance Use Disorder)? In what way have things changed for the department that has mental health officers. Add a paragraph to your paper that reflects your ideas and thoughts about how this information may help you plan for the possibility of one of your clients being involved with law enforcement.

Your paper should follow APA guidelines and should be 2 – 3 pages in length not counting the title page, abstract, or reference page.