Police have been called out to help people suffering mental health problems 1,500 times in just 12 months as the force is working with organisations to ensure people get the treatment they need.
New figures released by Cleveland Police reveal the number of times that officers have been called to help those experiencing mental health problems.
Statistics show that police dealt with over 1,500 mental health related incidents in the last financial year, offering support in over 30 cases per week between April 2016 and March 2017.
The figures have been released as part of Mental Health Awareness Week and specialist officers are urging people who are experiencing any form of mental illness to take the first brave step of seeking help and support.
Cleveland Police is working with partner agencies under the banner of the Crisis Care Concordat to share best practice and ensure that those with mental illness have access to the services that they need.
Agencies also work together under the concordat to ensure those with mental health problems are taken to the most appropriate place of safety.
Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts said: “Around one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, but seeking help and advice from specialists is still a daunting prospect because of the stigma that surrounds mental ill health.
“The figures we have released are stark and show the scale of the support that has been provided by our police officers to those who are often in crisis situations.
“Police cells are not an appropriate place of safety for someone suffering a mental health crisis who has not committed a crime. We have fantastic partnership arrangements under the concordat in Cleveland and real progress has been made to ensure that people in mental health crisis are treated in a suitable environment.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “These figures show the fantastic efforts made by our police officers to help those in need.
“It’s absolutely vital that people experiencing mental health crisis are able to access specialist mental health support at the most crucial time. I am a firm believer that we have the best partnerships on Teesside for this and that’s why I’m happy to commission services such as Street Triage, which gives police officers access to mental health nurses on the ground.”
Mental health help and support services include:
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)
Web site: www.mind.org.uk/help/advice_lines
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (10am-2pm Monday to Friday)
Website: http://www.rethink.org/about-us/our- mental-health- advice
Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (6pm-11pm)
Telephone: 0800 1111