Evidence for joint police and mental health responses for people in mental health crisis
Andrew Lancaster Community mental health nurse, NHS Tayside Community Mental Health Team, Perth, Scotland
In the UK, police officers who respond to people in mental health crisis in the community must judge whether or not the people they are dealing with require assessment by mental health professionals. However, many police staff lack the skills and knowledge to make such decisions, which can lead to inappropriate use of mental health legislation or arrests. This article reviews the evidence on mobile crisis teams, which deliver a joint response from the police and mental health services to people in mental health crisis in the community. It describes how these teams can improve outcomes for people in mental health crisis, reduce inappropriate use of mental health legislation and hospital admissions, increase user engagement, strengthen relationships between the police and health services, and potentially reduce costs to public services.
Mental Health Practice. 19, 10,20-26. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2016.e1067
Received: 03 March 2015
Accepted: 08 December 2015
Published in print: 07 July 2016Peer review
This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using automated softwareConflict Of Interest