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As a force, Leicestershire Police deal everyday with members of the community who are suffering with their mental health and are often at a point of crisis.
As part of Time to Talk Day, we take a closer look at the force’s specialist Mental Health Team, who operate 16 hours a day, but are currently undertaking a new 24/7 pilot scheme until March 2020.
The team, who provide a service to members of the public with mental health issues, are split into two – a Proactive Vulnerability Engagement Team (PAVE) who deal with high demand users, as well as a Street Triage Team who respond to live police incidents.
Made up of 15 members, the team work together from three organisations: one operations manager, six police officers, nine mental health practitioners and two turning point workers who deal with substance misuse cases.
The team attend all mental health incidents that come into the force, as well as offering advice and guidance to command and frontline officers to ensure the patient is sent to the right agency, with the best possible support package.
All of the team have undertaken a mental health first aid course and mental health training called Op Breakthrough, which was designed by the force and has now been used as best practice across the country. The team have also won national awards for the work they have done.
Within one month, the team can triage around 700 jobs and are deployed to over 60 incidents. The service is available seven days a week, 365 days a year and has reduced the number of people detained by Section 136 of the Mental Health Act from 450 per year to 158.
Chief Constable for Leicestershire Police, Simon Cole said: “Time to Talk Day is a chance to sit down, talk and look after our own wellbeing.
“As a force, we deal with some difficult things on a daily basis, so the work around wellbeing and how we support our staff is really important.”
Sam Watson, Mental Health Partnership and Operations Manager for Leicestershire Police, said: “We support many national and local days and Time to Talk Day is about raising these issues and simply asking questions that can help someone come forward and discuss the issues they may have, as well as engaging with the right support service.
“We support the R U OK? campaigns throughout the year and have diverted many people to services to receive the right treatment, or in many cases for someone to talk to.
“Mental Health is a key part of the force. Our aim at all mental health incidents is to put in place the best care package we can.
“Our partnership with Leicestershire Partnership Trust (LPT), East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) and Local authorities is excellent and we have great partnership policies in place to work together to get the best outcomes.”
Time to Talk Day aims to break the silence around mental health problems and to encourage the nation to get talking.