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How Manuel Ellis slipped through the cracks of the mental health system – SeattleTimes

How Manuel Ellis slipped through the cracks of the mental health system

Sep. 22, 2020 at 6:00 am Updated Sep. 25, 2020 at 10:56 am

Jeremy Dashiell visits a mural honoring Manuel Ellis in Tacoma. In high school, Dashiell and Ellis shared a love of track, basketball and music. The friends reconnected last year, meeting each other’s children and playing music together. “He was a genuine, humble person,” says Dashiell. “I’m going to pray for justice. … No one deserves to be treated the way he did.” (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

TACOMA — On the night Manuel Ellis died, he and Tacoma police were left alone on the pavement without the calming presence of mental health professionals, even though Pierce County and Tacoma tout their crisis intervention resources.

It was a situation officers had seen before — with Ellis, who struggled with addiction and mental illness, and many others. And as they often do with people in crisis, officers responded with force.

Tacoma, adjacent to Western State Hospital and military bases, has a higher prevalence of mental illness than the state and national averages… Click here to read more

 

Across the country, mental health is on the ballot in 2020.