Hundreds of children and young people in England and Wales were detained under the Mental Health Act and locked in police cells because officers did not have anywhere else to take them. Read the full story on BBC news.
I find this incomprehensible. How could law officers think they were doing the right thing? Children shouldn't spend time in prison. What had they done to deserve this treatment? Children with mental illness live a difficult enough life without finding themselves behind bars with nobody to turn to. Where are their parents? Surely they would do everything they could to prevent their child being harmed this way.
Under the Mental Health Act, police have the power to take people they suspect of being mentally disturbed and who could be a danger to themselves or others to a place of safety to be assessed by a doctor. This detention may only last up to 72 hours. In the case of children, this could mean an adolescent psychiatric unit or a children's home. Places of safety generally encompass a hospital, care home or any other suitable place. In exceptional circumstances, it may also be a police station.
Last year Fox News reported that up to 20 percent of children in the United States suffer from a mental disorder and the count is rising. I'd never heard about this until I read the news article. Society needs to work out what to do for their mentally ill children. The best thing for them is to remain at home, cared for by family. One of my online friends, Alana is doing just that. Link: http://ramblinwitham.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/autism-and-dealing-with-uncertainty.html