Mental health workers and police join together to help those with mental health problems

  • After receiving £400,000 in funding, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has placed mental health workers in police stations to support those with mental health problems and other vulnerabilities.

    The money will see mental health staff working in police stations, magistrates and youth courts across Sunderland to extend working hours with new groups of people whilst also creating a link between adult and youth services. It will see people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and other vulnerabilities given support as they move through the criminal justice system, reports the Sunderland Echo.

    Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust has also been given £400,000 so that the scheme can be rolled out across the Middlesbrough.

    Julie Dhuny, head of commissioning health and justice for NHS England North East, said: "There are well-documented high levels of health and care needs within youth and adult offender populations. By addressing people's mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and other vulnerabilities when they first come into contact with the youth and adult justice systems, we will be able to improve health outcomes whilst contributing to reductions in future arrests and in the use of police and court time. We are delighted to be able to provide further investment in these services for the next 12 months. It's a great opportunity to build on the positive developments already made by the liaison and diversion services. We will continue to work closely with our practitioners and key partners to ensure that all opportunities are seized and we deliver practical, intelligent and innovative approaches to managing the complex needs of those in contact with the criminal justice system. It is this work which will shape and encourage the development of further services nationwide."

    If the scheme is seen as successful it will be extended to the rest of the country by 2017.

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