Policing and Mental Health

Thank you to the police officer that gave me a blog idea! Hopefully, we’ll have his insight to this as well. 

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With cuts to the NHS the strain on the police has become much more focused around Mental Health. 

Around 1 in 5 calls is a mental health call. 

Whilst the police have the pressure of dealing with those who have mental health and are in distress, it also puts a strain on the police officers, specially when there isn’t a lot of officers on duty during the night/day. 

I remember being in hospital a few days ago, and a police officer sat with me, there was two police officers with another girl who was waiting for Inpatient, and another police officer had just came to A&E – which meant there was only 1 police officer to cover numerous amounts of area, these were mainly mental health patients. 

The police have the stressful situation of not being able to do anything. They have the power over Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. The police with you at the time must take you to a place of safety , preferably a hospital, but possibly a police station. You can be held there, until an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and either one or two doctors have assessed you, for up to 72 hours. 

The police would have to sit with you until you have been assessed, which also takes time from them ‘fighting crime’. 

There’s one thing we should all remember, and one thing the officer told me a few days ago. It’s not YOUR fault, it’s the cuts to the NHS, and you shouldn’t feel guilty or that you’re not worth it, as they are more than happy to help you and get you the help you need. 

Remember if you are in crisis, you can phone the police, or an ambulance. 

You can also contact helplines, and if all fails you can present yourself at A&E and ask to speak to the crisis worker on shift.

This blog post will be updated soon. With more information and hopefully an insight from a police officer.

 
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