MHNE calls for extension to innovative scheme

Release date: 2 July 2013

MHNE has welcomed a pilot scheme which sees nurses go out on police patrols to deal with mental health problems.

The scheme is being trialled in four pilot areas: Derbyshire, Devon & Cornwall, North Yorkshire and Sussex, and is funded by the Department for Health and backed by the Home Office.

This trial builds on an existing street triage scheme in Cleveland which has run for the last 13 months. This scheme has been a great success in saving money, preventing arrests and helping people suffering mental ill health.

Andrew Cummings, MHNE Young People and Mental Health Lead said: "There is undoubtedly an issue around young people arrested, under the mental health act, and placed in a police cell. It is my hope that the triage teams will quickly be extended to other areas of the North East to give much needed help to young people facing who find themselves in this position and we would hope to see detentions of this type decrease".

Lyn Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health North East, added: "We applaud this approach and will be following the pilot schemes closely over their duration.

"We are particularly concerned about the detainment of young people in custody suites across the North East. We're currently working in partnership with our member organisations and North East Police Crime Commissioners to review the current situation and identify how we can reduce incidences of detainment.

"If the four pilot schemes prove to be successful we would hope to see a similar approach rolled out to support young people experiencing mental ill health and who find themselves involved with the police. These triage teams will identify people suffering mental ill health and reduce unnecessary arrests, preventing individuals being burdened with a criminal record. Police resources and capacity will also be freed up making this a 'win win' situation."

MHNE has prepared a report which will be presented at Newcastle City Council's Policy Cabinet Meeting in September outlining their research in relation to numbers of young people detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act in the North East of England in 2011; procedures followed by the police; methods of transport used and support offered after the incident.

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This release was issued by Rebecca Rose at The Communications Cooperative. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07794 290 305.