Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton today welcomed a far-reaching new agreement between police, mental health trusts and paramedics to improve emergency care and support for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
The agreement – called the Crisis Care Concordat – has been signed by more than 20 national organisations in a bid to drive up standards of care for people experiencing crisis such as suicidal thoughts or significant anxiety.
The Concordat, announced by Lib Dem Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, will help cut the numbers of people detained inappropriately in police cells and drive out the variation in standards across the country.
Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister, said:
“When someone has a mental health crisis, it is distressing and frightening for them as well as the people around them. Urgent and compassionate care in a safe place is essential – a police cell should never need to be used because mental health services are not available. For me, crisis care is the most stark example of the lack of equality between mental and physical health.
“The NHS and police already work well together in some areas, but it is totally unacceptable that crisis mental health care is so variable across the country. It is imperative that all areas seek to implement the principles of the Concordat as quickly as possible to ensure consistent care, no matter where you live.
“Better care for people in mental health crises will not only help those living through their darkest hours to recover – it can also save lives.”
Mike Thornton MP, said:
“When people experience a mental health crisis it is essential that they get the specialist care and support they need. It’s unacceptable that there are incidents where young people, and even children can end up in a police cell because the right mental health service isn’t available to them.
“That’s why I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats are taking action to make sure those experiencing mental health problems receive the emergency care they need.
“We want to build a fairer society – one where mental health is as important as physical health – and the Crisis Care Concordat is an important step towards addressing this disparity.”