A PILOT scheme that will see mental health nurses joining police on the streets is due to be launched in North Yorkshire today (Monday, March 24).
The aim of the mental health street triage scheme is to reduce the number of people detained in police custody under the Mental Health Act (MHA).
The joint initiative - between North Yorkshire Police, Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust - will be launched in Scarborough today (Monday, March 24) as a pilot scheme for the force.
It will see mental health nurses attending incidents if police suspect an individual has a mental illness. The scheme has been successfully piloted in the Cleveland area and resulted in a large reduction in people unnecessarily detained under the MHA.
Police who believe an individual has a mental illness will contact the street triage team and a mental health nurse will assess whether the person needs help from mental health, social care or other support services.
The nurses will use an unmarked vehicle to provide on-the-spot assessments.
Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones said: “Police officers are regularly called to incidents involving people who are in need of care and support, but often have no option other than to take them into police custody for their own and other people’s safety. The street triage project means that they will receive immediate and appropriate help on the spot.
“Together with the recent opening of two places of safety in Scarborough and York for people detained under the Mental Health Act, this is extremely welcome news for the area.
Julia Mulligan added: “If successful, this pilot has the potential to prevent mental health crises and drastically reduce the number of people detained under the mental health act.”