A PILOT project aimed at giving emergency mental health care to people in crisis in Leeds has proved so successful that it is set to become a permanent fixture in the city.
It was launched 12 months ago as health workers teamed up with police to offer an innovative ‘street triage’ service. After the successful Department of Health funded trial – which saw the number of people being detained by police under the Mental Health Act drop by a third – the Leeds Mental Health Triage is now being offered 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and West Yorkshire Police have jointly been providing the service.
Criminal Treatment, is how many Mental Health Stakeholders describe the way people who suffer with Severe & Enduring Mental illness are being sent to Prison and are relying on food banks and are homeless, leading to suicide and other premature death, especially in Manchester, after the closure of the Psychiatric Hospital in Central Manchester “Edale”, as Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust are still in debt of £350 000 to Central NHS Manchester Foundation Trust.
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Inside the Notorious Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre
usan wrings her hands and twitches as she speaks, jerking her head from side to side. She is clearly not well. “I ate washing powder to try and kill myself,” says the nervous woman in her fifties. Her eyes flash wild. “It was all I could find. I wanted to die. I would rather die than go back.”
Susan, whose name has been changed, as have those of all the residents quoted in this article, at their own request, says she was a campaigner for human rights in her country of birth in South East Asia but that she fled after her mother was murdered by those she opposed. That trauma forced her to flee to England – not Britain’s superb welfare system or the lax immigration controls that prompted the mayor of the French town of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, to descibe the UK as an “El Dorado” for immigrants last week.
Children and young people’s mental health services are too few, too poor and too stressed, causing untold suffering to children and their families. There are government inquiries, reviews and a new taskforce under way to address the issues, but what would services look like if they were working well?
Young people’s mental health services would be embedded in the heart of communities. This doesn’t mean ivory towers with big signs on the front of the building saying “mental health services” (we know how mental health stigma builds walls for young people who need help), but places that are young people-friendly, informal and welcoming.
The Samaritans say they are seeing a huge increase in calls from people with mental illness – because patients have no-one to turn to at evenings and weekends.
The Manchester branch of the service, based on Oxford Road in the city centre has seen an increase of 3,500 calls over the past 12 months, dealing with 41,320 in total.
Many are existing mental health patients who say they have no-one else to talk to. It is not recorded by The Samaritans which health trusts each patient is being treated by.