Police & mental health

Mental Health Police? Incidents at ‘shocking’ levels


Figures show police faced 300,000 incidents involving people with mental health issues in 2016.

Source: Mental health police incidents at ‘shocking’ levels – BBC News

300000 mental health police incidents

Frighteningly, last year the UK police dealt with almost 300,000 incidents involving people suffering mental health illnesses! That isn’t to say of course that all of those incidents involved someone breaking the law. Quite often, when a sufferer of mental illness goes into crisis, the first port of call is the police. Are they to become the “Mental Health Police”?

South Wales highest number of mental health police incidents

A Freedom of Information Act showed in 2016 that 296,773 incidents were recorded. South Wales Police had the highest number of 38712. Nottinghamshire Police having the second highest number of incidents at 19,973. North Wales had the lowest of 766. A political think tank called Parliament Street obtained the data.
Danny Bowman is a mental health spokesman for Parliament Street and he said:
These findings reveal the shocking numbers of mental health issues now being dealt with by police forces across the country. It’s time to recognise that Britain needs a better funded strategic plan to make sure people who are suffering with mental health problems are properly cared for by specialist health services.

Police are first in contact with mental health sufferers

mental health police

Paul Farmer who is the chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said:
Mental health is core police business. Getting people the right help as early as possible means people can manage their mental health, are less likely to end up in crisis and, ultimately, will cut pressure on all emergency services.
He also said that police officers are very often the first people in contact with “people in mental health crisis”. He said it was important they had the right support, including support from NHS mental health services. Paul Farmer called for further investment to help people before they reach crisis point.
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Alan is a mental health service user in Cornwall, UK. Although generally the NHS has been very good with his care, their are some weak links. Thats why he started this blog, to share experiences and resources on various mental health illnesses. Also, to bring the headlines about mental health to the foreground. Alan enjoys walking his dogs, taking photos, watching movies and playing the PS4 :-)

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