The laws work similarly for mentally ill people as they do for domestic violence situations. The police can’t just take them away based on a threat to hurt someone, no matter the level of emotion that you sense within that individual. You can know a train wreck is coming and feel that. You know something is going to happen because you know that person like no one else does, their personality and such. Yet, the police tell you that if they have not committed a crime, there’s nothing they can do. Unless they display harm towards themselves or harm towards another person in their presence, they can’t do a damn thing. This protects people’s rights who are not mentally ill so I can see why it’s done this way, but it makes it extremely hard for people to get help for a mentally ill family member or friend. My mom seemed to always have to get into trouble before they would do anything. She’d get arrested, which was embarrassing and belittling for her. She was sick, after all, not a criminal for God’s sake. Then they’d take her down to the jailhouse in a cop car, which also had to make her feel resentful and full of shame. Then they’d book her in and put her through all of that and put her in those old nasty jail scrubs. She’d spend the night with no medicine.