black rotary telephone on white surface

Why do we need alternatives to calling the police when in crisis? Because police are not trained mental health professionals, NEITHER are they examples for de-escalation. In 2020, we were unfortunately inundated with reminders of what happens when police become involved in community matters. Too often we’ve witnessed individuals finding themselves in crises being tragically taken away from us, leaving us to mourn a life that mattered. I’ve compiled a list of resources from my internet searching about alternative ways to handle mental health issues in your community. Please feel free to share your own in the comments!

An online directory of local resources available as alternatives to calling the police or 911. Includes Resources by city

The Responsible Consumer: Alternatives to Calling the Police

  • Police Violence Statistics
  • Alternatives to Calling the Police
  • Police Reform
  • Restorative Justice

CAHOOTS program

The CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) system relies on trauma-informed de-escalation and harm reduction, which reduces calls to police, averts harmful arrest-release-repeat cycles, and prevents violent police encounters.

How We Can All take responsibility to avoid calling the police

  • Prepare and Train
  • Build a Health and Safety Contact List
  • Check Yourself
  • Organize

12 Things to Do Instead of Calling the Cops

And for those of us Interested in Abolition:

Beyond alternatives to calling the police, and imagining a world without them altogether.

A World Without Police

“Here you are invited to think and act with other visionaries, and find ways to achieve a police-free world.”

View the Study guide

A community Compilation on Police Abolition

  • Restorative Questions
  • What is Abolition?
  • To Fight for Black Lives is to be Anti-Police
  • Police Abolition: Strategy
  • Imagining a World without Police

For more reading and resources, be sure to check out the Social Justice & Mental Wellness Resource Guide featured on this blog.

Text: Mental Health Crisis? Alternatives to Calling the Police.

Image: Head with heart depicted in the brain area