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Police commit to improving response to mental health

PUBLISHED: 12:32 10 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:32 10 October 2014

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The College of Policing and the association of chief police officers are signatories to the mental health crisis care concordat which was launched today

The concordat sets out how all partners will work together to deliver a high quality response when people of all ages with mental health problems urgently need help.

As part of its commitment in the concordat to enable frontline police officers to deliver better responses for people experiencing mental health crisis, the College will review the content and training standards in the national policing curriculum to enable officers to undertake revised and updated training on mental health, which will cover a range of policing areas including custody training, restraint, mental ill health training, public protection and contact management.

They will also review and update the existing police ‘Guidance on Responding to People with Mental Ill Health or Learning Disabilities’ and subsequently transfer it into Authorised Professional Practice.

College of Policing chief executive chief constable Alex Marshall said: “Mental illness is a challenge for all of us. When a crisis occurs it is important that public services work together to provide the care and support that individuals require.

“The Concordat is a strong statement of intent of how the police, mental health services, social work services and ambulance professionals will work together to make sure that people who need immediate mental health support at a time of crisis get the right services when they need them.

“The College of Policing, as the professional body for policing, will ensure that all frontline police officers have access to updated training that will enable them to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health crisis, and assess the risk of harm and special care and support that an individual may require to ensure their safety and that of police officers and the public.”

Speaking on behalf of the national policing lead for mental health, commander Christine Jones, of the National Mental Health Working Group, said: “This concordat offers a unique opportunity to fully integrate our work as a service with those partner organisations who also act to ensure the safety and security of those with mental health problems, and we take our responsibilities under the concordat very seriously.”

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