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Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb explains why mental health crisis care is essential.

As part of Making mental health services more effective and accessible,  National Health Service and Social care, Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb explains that a mental health crisis can strike anyone, anytime, regardless of age or circumstance. In these critical moments, how we as citizens, care workers, medical professionals and the police react to and support people in the midst of psychological trauma can have a profound effect upon the course of their lives.

People with broken legs need quick responses - that’s why we have ambulances and A&E departments - but so too do people in mental health crises. To achieve this we need to put mental health and physical health on an equal footing. This requires concerted action to challenge entrenched attitudes or cultures. We must make sure people get speedy access to safe and compassionate care in the right environment.

Indeed, the surroundings in which someone receives help are just as important as who delivers it. Too often people in crisis face being locked up in police cells. This can be a deeply traumatising experience. This is not a failing of the police, but it is the way the system traditionally works. If you get picked up by the police in a moment of crisis, perhaps late in the evening, the default has often been to put you in a cell overnight.

With the best will in the world, the police do not have the training, knowledge or resources to assess the situation and determine appropriate next steps. If they have no mental health professional on hand and no known place of safety to which the person can be transferred, then the nearest police station with capacity is the only option. And it has always been that way.

But this simply cannot be justified in a civilised society. It is intolerable that some parts of the country have insufficient arrangements for places of safety for vulnerable children. Our police should not have to decide that confinement to cells or police vans for hours at a time is the best option, just because the NHS cannot react quickly enough. To feel criminalised when already in the depths of despair is something no one should experience.

For original source: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/emergency-care-for-the-mind

Forthcoming relevant events:

Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Thursday 30 April 
ICO Conference Centre, London
 

Masterclass: The Legal use of Control and Restraint
Wednesday 14 January 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

 

Nurse Appraisal and Revalidation in Mental Health
Wednesday 14 January 
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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Health Services: Implementing the New Care Act 2014: Revised Regulations and Guidance
Tuesday 3 February 
Colmore Gate Conference Centre, Birmingham

 

Legal Masterclass: The Care Act 2014 A Practical Guide
Tuesday 3 February 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

 

Legal Masterclass: Adult Safeguarding The New Statutory Framework
Wednesday 4 February 
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Meeting the National Access and Waiting Time Standards for Mental Health
Monday 9 February 
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Psychological Therapies in the NHS 2015
Wednesday 11 February — Thursday 12 February 
Millennium Gloucester Hotel & Conference Centre, London

 

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Mental Health Services Including Implications of the New Care Act 2014
Tuesday 24 February 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

 

Developing your skills in Social Media: Twitter
Wednesday 25 February 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

 

Bipolar Disorder in Adults
Monday 2 March 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

 

Positive and Proactive Care Meeting the New National Guidance on Reducing Seclusion
Tuesday 10 March 
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17 December 2014

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