The UIC Mental Health and Disability Alliance (MHDA), in partnership with the AHS Student Council (AHSSC), hosted the “Alternatives to Calling the Police During Mental Health Crises” workshop on Nov. 10.
Community organizers Miguel Ángel Rodriguez and Euree Kim led a group of about 45 UIC students, faculty and community partners in a reflective discourse surrounding police interference during mental health crises.
The workshop aimed to highlight the harmful impact of law enforcement intervention, bring awareness to the criminalization of mental illness (particularly for communities of color), and explore community alternatives to responding. Participants had an opportunity to practice strategies for de-escalation and gain resources for community support.
Asha Rao, MHDA president and a senior at UIC, was the driving force behind reviving group on campus. With the support of AHSSC and Leah Goodman, UIC clinical instructor in occupational therapy and MHDA faculty advisor, MHDA was able to offer the valuable workshop at UIC.
MHDA aims to enhance mental health and disability awareness at UIC, improve the availability of mental health resources on college campuses, and develop creative initiatives for enhancing student support. UIC community memebers can sign up to join the group.