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Second anniversary of mental health 'triage' on World Mental Health Day


Mental Health Control Room Triage launch

To mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Avon and Somerset police is celebrating the second anniversary of a mental health ‘triage’ partnership, where nurses work alongside the police to ensure people in crisis get the right support, from the right people.

In September 2015 a Street Triage pilot launched in Bristol to give officers expert, on the spot tactical advice about mental health crisis and provide advice on how to respond. Control Room Triage launched a year later with a multi-agency team of trained mental health professionals. So far the triage team has assisted over 2,500 times, helping to provide better care to people in crisis and avert unnecessary detention.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I remain passionate that people who are vulnerable and experiencing mental health crisis need specialist care from a mental health professional at first point of contact and not a police officer.  That’s why I’ve made protecting the most vulnerable from harm the top priority for the police in my Police and Crime Plan.

“The triage scheme has been fundamental in ensuring those who need it receive appropriate support or advice immediately.  To know that since its implementation the scheme has helped officers on more than 2,500 occasions, means many individuals supported, many who might have ended up in police custody or not receiving help at all.

“Today, on World Mental Health Day, I want to reiterate my commitment to working together with our partners to ensure those people suffering mental health crisis get the right support, from the right people, in the right place.  It’s only together, can we continue to change the outlook for those experiencing mental health problems.”

Constabulary lead for mental health, Superintendent, Geoff Wessell said:We deal with over 900 incidents a month involving people in significant mental health crisis and unfortunately pressures on public sector budgets mean that people often don’t get the right support. Triage is making a difference by providing specialist advice from a medical professional at first point of contact with a police officer, leading to a better outcome for people in crisis.

“The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘workplace wellbeing’ and we take the mental health of our officers and staff as seriously as that of the people we serve. According to the charity Mind, people who work in emergency services have a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem compared with the general population. So on 10th October we’re asking our teams to pledge to listen and talk more about mental health and get support when it’s needed.”

Emmy Watts, Access Services Manager for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust says: “We are extremely proud of this service and what we have achieved in the past year.

“When Control room triage launched in September 2016 we were absolutely confident of the need to support the Police on the streets ensuring that people in mental health crisis were accessing the correct support and advice. The success has exceeded our expectations and we are continually working with the police to further develop this integrated approach to support our mental health community.”

Partnership working between the police, health and local authorities will continue to improve the joint package of care and enhance the service for people in mental health crisis.

Posted on Monday 9th October 2017
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