Mental Health Advocates Push Police for More Crisis Intervention Training
UPTOWN — Becky Brasfield, a 36-year-old Englewood woman, said she was dispirited by a rocky post-grad job search and trapped in the throes of a psychotic episode about four years ago when she emailed death threats to a former employer.
"I was having delusions that this woman was going to hurt someone I knew," Brasfield said. "And I threatened to kill her unless she stopped."
That led to her arrest in November 2010 and five-month stay in the Cook County Jail. She remembers being in the midst of psychosis throughout her trial, at the end of which she pled guilty to felony harassment and was freed on probation without getting treatment.
Treatment finally came a month after a suicide attempt landed her in a hospital psych ward. That's when she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a serious mental illness in which schizophrenia's hallucinations and delusions intersect with bipolar disorder's mania and depression.
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