Police launch pilot scheme to enhance mental health support22/08/2014
Greater Manchester Police has launched a new pilot scheme to deliver enhanced support to people with mental health problems.
In an effort to develop a more holistic approach to dealing with mental health in the community, 17 Police Constables have received comprehensive mental health awareness training to become ‘Crisis Intervention Officers’. The scheme has been initially unveiled in the North Manchester area and is considered to be the first of its kind in the country.
completed their training and were officially launched into the community on Wednesday 20 August. With the additional training they are specially equipped to attend incidents involving people who are seen to be experiencing mental health issues, understand the issues and provide support accordingly.
Chief Inspector Patrick McKelvey from GMP’s North Manchester division said:
“Mental health is a very important issue for the force, and the CIO scheme has given the officers a greater awareness of the various guises mental health issues can take, ensuring that they are able to deal with the incident more appropriately.
“There is a wealth of support available to people with mental health problems and the role of the CIO is not just to provide immediate support but to help individual get access to the appropriate service, and start them on the right pathway to managing their mental health.”
The scheme is a product of the continued partnership working between the force, mental health trusts and mental health charities such as Self Help Services, across Greater Manchester. It follows, and will work in conjunction with the mental health helpline for police officers. The 24/7 contact number is staffed by mental health professionals and is used by officers when attending incidents that potentially involve a person suffering from mental health problems, to ensure they those people who need care and treatment receive the right treatment.
Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Officer of Self Help Services, said:
“It is our aim to always work to deliver better and more responsive services for people experiencing mental health issues – and it’s very refreshing that GMP shares this ambition alongside us.
“Combined with the use of the phone line, the Manchester Sanctuary and GMP’s continued input into the Manchester Mental Health Crisis Provider Forum, as a partnership we are making giant strides in the provision of mental health care and support for members of the community.