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Policing Mental Health: Who does it best?

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The title really states it all. Im a response officer and may soon have the opportunity to get funding to do a research piece for my force, where I can essentially get to pick my own topic as long as it fits their 3 categories (mine would be vulnerability) and it's got to be about how we can improve in a certain that area- and so Mental health seems to spring to mind, as it's something we are constantly dealing with in my force area. The force will fund us to travel to other forces across the world to do see how they deal with the issue and we will then write a report on what we do v how they do it, how we can change to improve etc etc. With 40% of police time in UK is spent on dealing with things sparked by/involving a mental health incident, and our own numbers dwindling, something has got to give.

Our force approach is essentially: 

crime: Arrest, custody and medical practitioner can make a decision, unless they're actively seriously having a MH episode then to A&E. 

No crime but you believe they are suffering from a MH episode as per legislation: detain people under MH Act and take them to A&E where we babysit them for potentially up to the 72hr limit before they're usually 8/10 times released again. 

What are your experiences?  

Are you regularly attending calls for service for mental health incidents? 

How do you deal with them, is there something unique about your forces approach?

Are you aware of a particular force or county that deals with MH calls for service well? 

Anything else you want to say (aside from slatting the fact I'm trying to get time off section ?)?


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Our force actually came up with a good idea, beggars belief but they have. We have something called Triage cars. Basically The Mental Health Triage scheme sees West Midlands Police officers joined in an unmarked car by psychiatric nurses and paramedics to answer calls from those believed to be suffering from mental ill health. 

A simple idea that I can't believe isn't a national thing. Is this a help?

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