According to a recent media release from the RVIPF, the police attended 15 incidents in the last three weeks where either “family members and neighbours were seriously injured, threatened or had to be rescued from a mental health patient”.
The police said household items were also destroyed and law enforcers has had to take most of the patients to the Behavioural Ward at the Dr D Orlando Smith Hospital.
Two of the 15 recorded incidents involved persons coming to the Road Town Police Station, and according to the RVIPF, “both were incoherent and one was carrying an imitation firearm”.
Meanwhile, the increase in these types of incidents has prompted the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Jacqueline Vanterpool to urge family members of mentally ill patients or those showing signs of mental illness to seek assistance at the first indication of unusual behaviour.
“Stress levels in the territory are high with the onset of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. This can lead to more conflict with those suffering with chronic mental illness. It is important that caregivers are sensitive and responsive to these signs ahead of the crisis and get the necessary help,” Vanterpool stated.