Ep 51: Montgomery County Mental Health Constables: Constable Philip Cash

Many mental health consumers who lack access to treatment end up committing crimes due to their illness. If a person like this can be given the help they need before they commit a crime, they can be saved from going to prison and stand a far higher chance of making a recovery. Today on the show we speak to Constable Philip Cash about how the Montgomery County mental health constables are serving their community through a dedicated program designed to get mental health consumers the help they need before they hurt themselves or those around them. We hear about Constable Cash’s journey in law enforcement and how he noticed how many crimes were committed due to drug use or mental illness. Our guest talks about how he implemented the Crisis Intervention Team when he ran for the constable position as a method of helping mental health consumers rather than treating them like criminals. Constable Cash speaks about the typical process the mental health constables follow to assist mental health consumers in moments of crisis. We also address how Montgomery County is tackling the drug crisis, the need for more mental health infrastructure in Texas, and the fundamental role of faith and family in assisting in the recovery of loved ones with mental illnesses.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Constable Cash’s career in law enforcement and how he got involved in mental health.
  • The role of the Montgomery County mental health constables and how they are helping those in crisis.
  • The effects of COVID on the mental health of Americans.
  • How the crisis intervention team has downgraded police uniforms to be less intimidating.
  • The best time to call a mental health constable if a loved one is struggling.
  • How the mental health constables are trained to handle a range of situations.
  • When a person should call 911 versus the crisis intervention team.
  • The standard operating procedure around juvenile struggles and how the constables help.
  • Similarities in the behavior between mental health consumers and drug users.
  • The effects of dementia on older folks and whether the constables can provide assistance.
  • How the constables deal with cases: the process of evaluation and transportation to a facility.
  • The appreciation and feedback the constables get from the patients and community.
  • Effects of natural disasters on mental health consumers and the influx of calls the constables get.
  • The lack of funding for mental health infrastructure even though progress is being made.
  • Issuing mental health warrants and what this side of the process looks like.
  • The rise of drug use and measures being taken in Montgomery County to deal with this.
  • Details in the drug crisis: counterfeit pills and opioid use leading to street drug use.
  • A message of hope from Constable Cash about the role of faith and family.
  • How to get hold of the Montgomery County mental health constables.


Tweetables:

“Our primary mission is to help those in crisis.” — Constable Philip Cash [0:03:54]

“That’s an issue we have had in the past where a person is disobeying a police officer and they end up in jail where it could have been something handled a little different where they ended up in a mental health facility.” — Constable Philip Cash [0:17:36]

“Two or three times since I have been constable, these people have come to and hugged the officers and thanked them for saving their lives.” — Constable Philip Cash [0:24:32]

“There’s a lot of very professional people in our community that care about the mental health of our citizens and I am proud to be a part of that.” — Constable Philip Cash [0:30:05]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Constable Philip Cash on LinkedIn

Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare

American Rescue Plan

HIDTA

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