The Mental Health of a Standoff at Rady Children's Hospital

One way to look at the all night standoff outside Rady Children’s Hospital is to look at it as a symptom of what seems to be a growing illness in our society today.

Anyone listening to San Diego police SWAT team members, negotiators and commanders on the police scanner last night as the standoff was going on heard what police were doing to try to save a man’s life.

It became clear to police on scene very early on that the man, an armed man and a man who had robbed a bank in Riverside County and then led police on a chase to San Diego that ended outside the emergency room at an always busy Children’s hospital was suicidal and appeared to want to take his own life as the drama continued through the night.

And it also was clear from hearing what cops were saying at the scene that they were doing all they could to prevent that from happening…while still making sure everyone in and around the hospital remained safe and secure.

Unless you’re a cop or a family of a cop, you can’t really know what it takes to protect people, even at times, from themselves.

Thankfully, because of the professional trained law enforcement officers and negotiators who were out there all night, no innocent people were hurt despite the disruption it caused for families bringing their sick or injured children to Rady Children’s Hospital.

But the mental illness and loneliness that can lead to suicide need to be diagnosed and treated if we are to prevent these life and death situations.

(Photo credit Joshua Lipton, KOGO News)

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