Mental health help at police stations
MENTAL health professionals are on hand in police stations across south Essex to ease pressure on police and help prevent vulnerable people reoffending.
The Department of Health announced £25 million of funding for mental health nurses to work in police stations in January.
The scheme has now been expanded so that specialist support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Janet Childs, integrating clinical lead for South Essex Partnership Foundation Trust, which oversees mental health care, said: “The service we can offer now is completely different and it has helped a lot.
“We are even in a position now to employ more staff.
“Police, through no fault of their own, cannot diagnose mental health issues so it is good for us to be there all the time.
“We can then work with offenders to identify reasons behind their actions, and work to avoid it happening in the future.”
The Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion service is provided by the trust and they give support services for vulnerable people with learning disabilities or difficulties, mental health problems and other issues attending a police station of Magistrates’ Court.
Deputy custody commander for Essex Police, Debbie Grafton, said: “It has made a huge difference for our staff.
“We are knowledgeable about mental health issues, but we are not professional, so to have them around to confirm our suspicions or take on self-referrals is fantastic.
“They also stay with offenders in custody, and after they have left, to help them turn their life around.”
Credit: The Echo News