New mental health guidance for police


originally published by: Black Mental Health UK
originally published: 16the June 2010

Community leaders have welcomed the publication of a new guide to assist police officers when dealing with people who use mental health services, but warn a wholesale review of how this group are treated is needed if substantive progress is to be achieved.

Entitled ‘Guidance on Responding to People with Mental Ill Health or Learning Disablities ‘, this new publication was produced by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in close consultation with the Department of Health.

Close to 14% of the cases officers on the beat have to deal with on a daily basis involve a service user or someone in need of mental health care. Health experts point to the need for formal training so officers are equipped with the skills to be able to deal sensitively with such incidents. Equalities experts also point out the need for culturally competency among the workforce dealing with service users.

‘We know that black people enter the mental health system via the police and criminal justice system and the high numbers of deaths of our people while in custody makes it clear this is a serious concern for us, which cannot be left unaddressed.

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