Street triage team to tackle mental health emergencies

Benjamin Zephaniah & CI Sean Russell
Benjamin Zephaniah & CI Sean Russell – The One Show 4 February 2014

A scheme has started to ensure people with mental health issues in the West Midlands are kept out of custody and receive the right treatment. 

The Street Triage scheme will see mental health nurses and paramedics join police on callouts where people need immediate mental health support.

Mental health bosses say people in urgent need of mental health care during emergencies will benefit. The pilot follows in the footsteps of similar schemes across the country.

Chief Inspector Sean Russell, of West Midlands Police, said as well as supporting people in crisis, the scheme launching on Friday will “help reduce demand on police and A&E resources”.

Jon Short, chief executive at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation, said: “There’s been a huge fuss in recent years over how much front-line police work deals with mental health issues.”

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