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The incumbent’s lack of understanding: mental health

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

In an interview yesterday with WHMP’s Bill Newman, the incumbent in this race, Patrick Cahillane, suggested that a viable option for therapeutic treatment would be teaching justice involved individuals how to play pickle ball. While we certainly acknowledge and support ready access to recreational activities (of which there are presently many including outdoor basketball, volleyball, softball, a running track, horseshoes in a new pit and weight equipment, to name a few), a game of pickle ball or other recreational activities do not and will not address the core of a very serious issue that the present administration seemed to have glossed over, or completely missed in this interview. This happened because either the incumbent doesn’t have an actual plan to address the mental health crisis in his facility, or because, which is what we suspect is more accurately the case, he doesn’t truly understand the full spectrum of mental illness and the proper ways to address it. While other facilities are adding mental health staff in droves, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office has had the exact same number of mental health providers for more than 6 years despite a severe mental illness diagnosis of greater than 50% in the population. This Office urgently needs to address the mental health crisis, which is one of the largest issues facing modern corrections, but this crisis will not be properly addressed by pickle ball or any other recreational instruction, but by creating an actual mental health department made up of licensed staff, readily available for greater hours.

More on Caitlin’s specific plans on how to address the serious mental health crisis in the Hampshire County Sheriff can be found here:

Listen to the full interview here:

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