Front line police officers have received bespoke mental health training to help raise their awareness about mental health.
This is in addition to the introduction of a Section 136 suite in Bolton, designated to provide a place of safety overnight where a person can be monitored by a mental health nurse (Elm Suite) and the telephone triage has managed to save between 300-400 officer hours per month.
The training, delivered by Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust (GMW) to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) forms part of the Crisis Concordat requirements for emergency service training.
The Crisis Concordat is a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. It sets out how organisations involved can work together to provide people with the help they need during a mental health crisis, to treat it with the same level of importance as a physical health crisis.
The two day awareness training, last delivered on the 28th and 29th September, is part of a scheme to deliver enhanced support to people with mental health problems. This additional training ensures GMP are specially equipped to attend incidents involving people who are thought to be experiencing mental health issues and provides guidance on how to deal with crisis situations. It also marks the relaunch of a 24/7 contact number that is staffed by mental health professionals.
The contact number will be used by police officers attending an incident that potentially involves a person suffering from mental health problems, to ensure those who need care and treatment receive it.
The training is tailored to different audiences, with the intent of portraying the struggles people with mental health problems endure.
The training was delivered to 20 police officers from Bolton police teams, adding to the 400 police officers from GMP that have already completed some basic mental health training.
The training consists of a two day course, where all attendees spend a day in the classroom learning about mental health and a day shadowing GMW staff in a variety of services.
For the last nineteen months, staff and officers at GMP have received comprehensive mental health training, delivered by mental health professionals from GMW.
Originally for staff in the custody offices where people are detained, the scheme has proved so successful that it has been incorporated into the training requirements for response officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and Special Constables.
The eventual aim of the Crisis Concordat training is to ensure all front line GMP officers across the services will have completed the sessions.
On the day facilitators; Paul Nickeas, GMP Mental Health and NHS Liaison Officer and Rick Wright GMW Senior Manager of Transforming Social Care said:
“We are really pleased by the response the training has received and the efforts of the officers engaging with the topics and activities. This is a valuable step towards greater joint working and a better service for the people of Bolton”
The eventual aim of the Crisis Concordat training is to ensure staff across the services will have completed the sessions.
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