Extra funding for mental health staff to be in police stations and courts
An £800,000 investment is being made to ensure extra mental health staff will work in police station and courts in the Black Country.
The investment is part of a Government pilot scheme and is welcomed by NHS bosses in the Black Country, reports the Express and Star.
The Liaison and Diversion service is being rolled out across Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell, with seven extra staff being hired.
This will see extra mental health staff work with people of all ages suffering with their mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse and other issues.
The new service aims to divert people away from crime and into health and care services provided by the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.
Melvena Anderson, general manager of mental health at the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have worked closely with service users and partner organisations to develop this new service in line with NHS England’s standard service specifications. We will continue to work with them to ensure that when someone in a police station, or involved in court proceedings, has a mental health problem or other vulnerabilities, they are referred to the right services and are given support and guidance based on their needs.”
Becki Hipkins, Liaison and Diversion project leader, said: “We are delighted that Black Country is one of the national trial sites for Liaison and Diversion and to have the opportunity to demonstrate positive outcomes from work in our local community. We remain committed to working with police and court colleagues to identify and divert vulnerable adults and young people with mental health and other vulnerabilities from the criminal justice system and offending behaviour into mental health treatment and support services. We strive to improve mental health and wellbeing across all age groups and reduce offending rates through providing early intervention and referring people to a range of health and care services.”
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