A woman enters unlocked homes, looking in mirrors combing what she thinks are silk worms coming from her head. A man is holed up in a room full of guns as he fights voices in his head that are telling him to kill himself.
Prior to the establishment of a new mental health team at the Burbank Police Department, these sorts of calls would elicit a purely police-centric response that would do nothing to address the root of the problem, officials say. Now, the team is funneling these people away from the law enforcement grind and into a system where they can be connected to services that have a more long-term effect.
Take the suicidal man, a person in his mid-70s.
During a call-out on a recent Friday, Burbank police Officer Kristiana Sanchez and Svitlana Anishchenko, a clinical social worker, were briefed on the situation when they arrived at the scene. They entered the man's home and quickly assessed the situation.