I wish to thank you for the times in the many years officers have come to my daughter’s residence and did the best you could to help her. She has spiraled from a friendly student athlete honor student to complex mental illness. Currently she has schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, Graves disease (thyroid disease that can also affect her mood), and substance abuse. Since 2017, APD has had to go to her apartment more frequently. In that time she has had visits to the Emergency Department, visits to local psychiatric hospitals, a suicide attempt, and 3 arrests that so far includes over months in jail. She is the classic “frequent flyer” of people with severe mental illness (SMI).
Austin Police Department (APD) mental health officers and regular officers have been overall excellent when communicating with her. They de-escalate crisis so well. I hope APD helps such officers keep up their crisis intervention training (CIT), including taking care of themselves. You often see the public when we’re not doing or being our best selves. It takes a lot, I think, for officers to remember and tolerate that!
Examples the last week officers Thompson and Davidson came out twice and showed professionalism at her apartment. Friday officer O’Dean called me because he figured out (nice detective work!) I started my daughters car to keep the battery charged (she has not been driving it and is now actually in jail), and then forgot to turn it off and lock it. He went out of his way to figure that out and to make sure the car and keys were safe until I went back over there.
Besides trying to help my daughter and not make things worse, I also heavily volunteer in mental health, including NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). From what I’ve read and heard in my training, my family’s experience has been second to none with APD. I intend my volunteering will include effectively conveying the positive efforts of APD.
Again, my daughter’s SMI is horrible and we know it may sometime be fatal. We will feel horrible if that happens. Yet we will also know actions of the APD helped keep her alive and gave her chances.
Thanks again for your courageous work that is often not so glamorous. If there is ever anything I can do as a family member or a volunteer to reciprocate, please let me know.
Please be safe, and keep it up!