Mental health crisis care for people of all ages must be adequately funded so that no one is left without the help they need when they need it most, Centre for Mental Health chief executive Andy Bell said today.
Responding to the National Partnership Agreement on policing and mental health today, Andy Bell said: “People in a mental health emergency should always get speedy, effective and compassionate care. Too often this is not the case. And for many, the involvement of the police makes them feel criminalised.
“The National Partnership Agreement could provide a way of getting agencies together to offer people a better response, but only if it is fully funded. Reducing police involvement in mental health crisis responses will only work if more appropriate staff are in place to meet people’s needs and keep them safe. There must be no gaps in support.
“It is vital that the Government allocates additional funding for improved mental health crisis care. It cannot be diverted from other essential mental health services. It must include funding for social services, whose work is just as important as that of the NHS. It must include suitable arrangements for children and young people. It must include investment in facilities that are fit for purpose. And local agreements must be reached in partnership with community organisations and people using services, especially those from marginalised and racialised communities.
“The Right Care Right Person model has shown promising results in Humberside, but it is not yet an evidence-based model. It may not be the right approach in every part of the country. So it is vital that new arrangements are carefully monitored to identify both good practice and learning from experience. Mental health crisis care cannot be left to chance.
“It is also essential that the Government fulfils its promise to modernise the Mental Health Act. This is essential to protect people’s rights and dignity.”