Essex Police mental health team help thousands

Politics / Tue 10th Apr 2018 at 03:19pm

OVER the last 12 months, Mental Health Street Triage team has helped 2,384 people in mental health crisis.

The Mental Health Street Triage team was introduced a year ago this month to ensure members of the public are assessed by trained professionals in order to receive the most appropriate treatment. The team is made up of six Police Constables, 25 Special Constables, one police staff member in our Force Control Room and six mental health nurses from the Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) to provide support to those in mental health crisis.

They have two MHST cars that are staffed from 10am – 2am seven days a week with one trained police officer crewed with one EPUT mental health nurse on hand to offer support to officers across the county attending incidents where an individual may be suffering mental health difficulties.

Once a MHST car is called to an incident, the nurse on board can provide an immediate assessment while at the scene, ensuring that the individual involved receives the correct treatment and support.

Since April 2017, the team has assessed 2,384 people in mental health crisis to ensure they receive appropriate treatment and has prevented 543 attendances to A&E. The team has also prevented more than 394 people being sectioned under Section 136.

Special Constables scooped a prestigious national award for their voluntary contribution to those in mental health crisis. In November 2017, the team won the Special Constabulary Team award during last year’s Lord Ferrers Awards for giving up their own time to support those experiencing a mental health crisis. Over an eight month period, the group spent 1,400 of their voluntary hours staffing our mental health triage cars.

Julie Johnson, our Mental Health Street Triage team supervisor, said: “I have very much enjoyed working with the Street Triage team for the last 12 months; getting to know the dedicated officers and nurses and seeing the team develop together has been very rewarding.

“The team has had a huge impact across the force, not only helping police colleagues faced with sometimes extremely challenging situations, but also our over-stretched colleagues in the NHS.

“Most importantly is the impact on individuals who have been given help by the team to get through crisis moments in their lives, either by helping directly at the time or by putting them in touch with organisations that can help them.

“I look forward to the continued success of the team.”

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