Police no longer attending mental health calls unless it life threatening

Hi All, I don’t know if you have seen the news on BBC Breakfast this morning or if it mention on other news channels? This idea of the police not attending mental health calls unless life is at threat, to me is a two edge sword. I know that many calls that the police attend are all different but what I don’t think has been thought out is when a person who is in crisis need helps get that help than been left to suffer due to the mental health services not willing to respond. I think better planning and research should have been done than just go on two places evidence that they did a trial in. Be interesting to see how long it will last.

HI Michael, I saw about this awhile back. Personally I can see it as a recipe for disaster unless there are other trained teams available to respond quickly and appropriately. Also, unlike police who an take someone in a crisis to a place of safety - its my understanding that no one else has this power, unless there is a section in place.

The government has made this announcement a couple of times, but not put up the money for mental health teams to take on the additional work. They’ve now dumped the problem onto the local Integrate Care Boards to work out what they’re going to do about it with no new money and no additional staff. It’s interesting that the government doesn’t seem to have set any deadlines for this, which suggests it’s an attempt to look good without doing anything.

So the question is whether the police will carry on as normal but reclassify the calls to show a drop, or ignore the “low level” emergencies until things get a lot worse. Which of course is going to have a major impact of carers who are already under massive stress.

Yes that is my worry Charles. With dementia sufferers, sometimes Carers are told to phone the police, if they feel threatened, as the police can then ‘refer’ to Social Services so that they step in and sometimes the police can even get a bed for the person who is exhibiting challenging behaviour in a mental health unit. I guess nothing will happen until a Carer or relation gets seriously hurt or even killed.

1 Like