It's estimated that 1 in 4 adults in Britain will suffer from mental ill health every year. Occasionally, this may turn into a crisis with sufferers requiring assistance from public services, including the police.
To help ensure that a person suffering a mental health crisis receives the services they need, Cheshire Police has a dedicated mental health 'Street Triage' scheme.
The scheme aims to ensure that a Community Psychiatric Nurse accompanies police officers during call outs where an individual is suspected to be suffering a mental health crisis. The advantage of having the nurse present at call outs mean that people are able to get the right help at a critical time, with the aim of reducing the number of arrests under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
Partnership Inspector Richard Spedding said: "The service provides a frontline health and police response to people suffering from mental health crises.
"By sharing police and health information in real time Street Triage can deliver the most appropriate outcome for the individual based on their needs and the health conditions that they are suffering."
The Street Triage scheme is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire and is run in partnership with the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The scheme was originally piloted in Halton and Warrington in 2013, and following its success was rolled out across Cheshire in January 2015.