Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) has developed a bespoke mental health training package which will be delivered to over 280 front line Police Officers in Greater Manchester. The Crisis Response and De-escalation Leaders in Emergency Services Training (CRADLES) will help officers develop further skills to support and protect vulnerable people in crisis.
The intensive one-day training package was developed by mental health professionals and clinicians in Bolton including staff from Criminal Justice and Social Work Teams. The specialist knowledge and expertise used within the training offers a comprehensive package to Police Officers.
Nofie Johnston, Senior Manager for Urgent Care in Bolton at GMW said, “This training goes beyond mental health awareness, it challenges stigma towards people with mental health conditions and provides Police Officers with the skills to use compassion towards a person in crisis.”
“What matters most is the health and wellbeing of those in crisis and as part of the training, we provide Police Officers with information on the wide range of mental health services available to people in Bolton so that those in crisis can get the right help and the right time.
“Alongside mental health services for adults, we also offer mental health services to older people in Bolton. As part of the training offered to Police Officers, each individual officer will become a ‘dementia friend’. This Alzheimer’s Society initiative allows people to further understand dementia and teaches individuals how they can contribute to dementia friendly communities.”
The training also offers Police Officers information outlining the signs and symptoms of different mental health disorders, common myths surrounding mental health and accounts from people who live with mental health issues. The specialist training is delivered in partnership with Bolton Mental Health Services and Paul Nickeas, Police liaison Officer for GMW.
Paul said, “Protecting vulnerable people is one of many types of incidents Police Officers are called to attend. This includes meeting and dealing with members of our communities who are in crisis or suffering from mental health issues. In Bolton alone the police attend between 200-250 such calls every month.
“The CRADLES Training provides officers an awareness of de-escalation techniques that are used by mental health professionals when dealing with a person suffering from an apparent mental health episode. Additionally, the training has provided a better awareness of enduring mental health conditions and how they affect people differently.
“Working in partnership with a number of organisations we have been able to equip all front line Police Officers in Bolton with the right skills and knowledge to help the most vulnerable members of society by protecting those in difficulty due to a mental health crisis. The excellent working relationship between our partners and the staff at GMW has been fundamental to the success of this project. Without the commitment of GMW and the commissioners this would never have been possible.”
Superintendent Jones, Divisional Commander at Bolton GMP said, “It is important that we continue working together to ensure that those in crisis are receiving the best possible service. The ‘CRADLES’ training is an excellent opportunity for my staff to broaden their knowledge on mental health awareness to ensure they support and protect vulnerable people in crisis.”
Pictured from left to right: Paul Nickeas - Police Liaison Officer for GMW, Sophie Halliday - Clinical Psychologist, Bolton Raid Team, Jonathan Cosgrove - Senior Practioner in HBT, Alan Mather - Social Worker AMHP/Criminal Justice Team.