Kent Police pledges support to the national Mental Health Awareness Week

Contributed by editor on May 10, 2017 - 04:00 PM


Kent Police has pledged its support to the national Mental Health Awareness Week as part of its on-going work to help those in a crisis.



The national campaign launched on Monday 8 May has been organised by the Mental Health Foundation.

In Kent, there are already a number of schemes in place to help those suffering a crisis when they come into contact with police officers.

In the force control room, wellbeing workers from the Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind charity provide advice and guidance to those callers in a mental health episode while on 7 April, Kent Police and the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust launched a street triage service in Thanet.

The new pilot sees a qualified health practitioner accompany police officers attending mental health-related incidents.

Kent Police has also set up a dedicated Mental Health Team made up of officers with specialist skills and experience.

The team has established links with care centres across the county and is also tasked with improving officers’ understanding of mental health.

Two members of the team were recognised for their work in mental health and how it impacts policing by Chief Constable of Kent Alan Pughsley at his awards ceremony on 3 May.

There are also a number of support mechanisms in place for Kent Police officers and staff in recognition of the type of work they deal with including occupational health services, internal counselling and resilience and wellbeing courses – all designed to support personal mental health and wellbeing.

Chief Superintendent Rachel Curtis from Kent Police said: ‘How officers interact with those in a mental health crisis is an important subject for us as a force and we have worked with partner agencies to help improve our understanding.

‘The priority for officers is always keeping people safe and the Mental Health Awareness Week is a campaign we give our full support to.

‘Mental health is not a crime – it is a health and welfare issue, but we are absolutely committed to ensuring that those who are in distress get the most appropriate care and support.’

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